Elstadt returns home
Elstadt returns homeSHARE
The Stormers were dealt a cruel blow on the eve of their opening Super Rugby tour match in Australasia.
Seasoned utility forward Rynhardt Elstadt and Springbok flank Siya Kolisi have both been ruled out of the Round Four encounter with the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday.
Fit-again De Kock Steenkamp and Schalk Burger will replace the duo in a team that shows four changes.
Elstadt has been ruled out of the tour with a shoulder injury and will be out of action for four to six weeks.
However, Kolisi has been given this week off and will come back into the selection frame next weekend.
"Rynhardt will see his specialist when he returns back home to Cape Town," coach Allister Coetzee said.
"It's the same shoulder he had an operation on after last year, and the specialist here said it's quite badly inflamed.
"He will be out of action for four to six weeks and, for that reason, we have called up Jurie van Vuuren, who was part of the WP Under-21 last year and can, like Rynhardt, play at No.7 [flank] and No.4 [lock].
"We're fortunate to be able to rest Siya [at loose forward], where we have more depth, so hopefully this week off will see his AC joint in a better condition next week."
Coetzee made four changes to his starting line-up.
Burger resumes the team vice-captaincy after missing last Friday's nailbiting 19-18 win over the Hurricanes at Newlands with a mild groin strain, whilst Steenkamp will make his first appearance of the season having also recovered from a groin injury of his own.
At scrumhalf, in an unforced change, Nic Groom will earn his first start of 2014.
The loss of Elstadt and Manuel Carizza – the latter with a wrist injury from the 'Canes match – sees former WP Under-21 lock Ruan Botha earn a place on the bench on debut.
Michael Rhodes, after two appearances from the bench this season, will start in place of Elstadt in the No.4 jersey.
Louis Schreuder will join Botha on the bench this week, along with experienced flyhalf Peter Grant – who joined the team from Japan this week – and new wing signing Sailosi Tagicakibau, who joined the Stormers from London Irish just a few days ago.
"Losi [Tagicakibau] has fitted in very well – in the change room after the Hurricanes match and in the gym this week," said Coetzee.
"We're looking forward to him making an impact in our first full [training] session tomorrow [Thursday] and come Saturday against the Crusaders.
"It's also good to have Peter Grant back," added the Stormers boss.
"He's hungry to play again, after missing the majority of last year's campaign and having not played a lot in Japan. He's a good team man and will slot in well as always given his experience and standing in our environment."
Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Pat Cilliers, 19 Ruan Botha, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Peter Grant, 23 Sailosi Tagicakibau.
Date: Saturday, March 8
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT; 08.35 SA time)
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
TMO: Chris Watt (New Zealand)