Stormers props JD Moller and Brian Mujati are struggling with injuries ahead of Saturday’s crucial forward battle against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
Ebrahim Moerat writes for Rugby 365 that the pair suffered shoulder injuries during the 8-14 loss to the Blues and will be given more time to recover for the Bulls clash. A decision on their availability will be made later this week but if they fail to recover the Stormers’ scrum could be at a distinct disadvantage against a formidable Bulls set-piece.
The Stormers’ scrum has for long been regarded as the soft underbelly and the Cape franchise faced a similar situation when they played Saracens in a Super 14 warm-up earlier this year.
Saracens boss, Eddie Jones, criticised the Stormers for their poor showing in the set-piece afterwards and their current injury concerns could mean the Stormers will go into the Loftus clash with a depleted front row.
“JD and Brian did not take part in training on Monday,” Stormers spokesperson, Frikkie Erasmus told rugby365.com ahead of the crucial South African derby.
“They are being monitored by our medical team and we will assess there situation later this week,” he said.
Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus received more bad news with star flank Schalk Burger also doubtful because of a niggling calf injury.
Burger limped off the field against the Blues and if he is ruled out the Stormers’ pack will be even further depleted. His absence would also be untimely as Erasmus was keen on rotating his backrow with Luke Watson due to take a break this week.
However, Watson would be Burger’s likely replacement if he failed to recover because of his ability at the breakdown but he does not provide much physicality or a line-out option.
Watson is also not a favourite among the Loftus faithfull for his infamous comments at a rugby event last year, which would have supported Erasmus’ decision to omit him from this week’s line-up.
Fullback Conrad Jantjes is also still on the injured list and Percy Montgomery is likely to retain his spot for the Loftus clash.
The Stormers team to face the Bulls will be announced on Wednesday,Tweet