The Stormers have lost Andries Bekker for the remainder of the Super 14 season after he broke a bone and tore a ligament in his toe.
The Stormers were looking for a replacement but at such short notice it is unlikely that they will be able to find a player who is not already under contract.
They had considered Ross Skeate but found that he is out of action with Toulon with a broken jaw
“We did think of bringing in Ross if he could be released from his commitments, but his jaw is broken so that settles that,” Stormers assistant coach Gary Gold told SuperSport.
While the Stormers considered further overseas options they decided to settle on using loose-forwards Francois Louw and Duane Vermeulen as cover for Bekker.
“Francois has played there and we believe Duane can play there. He certainly has the height and he has the weight. He is around the same size as Adriaan Fondse,” said Gold.
“Obviously losing Andries is not ideal, particularly in view of what he gives us in terms of explosiveness.
“He has become an important part of our attacking weaponry. But these things happen in rugby, particularly in this competition, and we are just going to have to make other plans.
“Apart from Duane and Francois, we also have Hilton Lobberts in the squad, and he can cover both lock and loose-forward. AJ Venter has come through well for us in the last few games, so while it might be a problem finding someone who can play No5 lock, we do have options.”
Bekker is an influential player in the Stormers squad, and it will be far more than his lofty presence in the line outs or his omnipresence on attack that will be missed, as he was also part of the leadership group.
“It does not look good for Andries. We are expecting him to be out for at least two months so we are unlikely to see him playing Super 14 rugby again this season.”
In other Stormers news according to Die Burger Erasmus has managed to get Toulon to release hooker Tiaan Liebenberg so that he can return to the Stormers.
Article courtesy of RugbyweekTweet