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VIDEO: The Frans Malherbe mystery cleared up

The continued absence of veteran World Cup-winning Springbok Frans Malherbe is the result of a long-standing injury.

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Stormers assistant coach Dawie Snyman revealed that the 32-year-old Bok front row forward remains sidelined with an injury.

“I am not sure exactly when he will be available, but he is at the facility [Stormers training base] doing his rehabilitation and getting himself ready to play again,” he said.

Snyman said it is a long-standing lower back issue.

“He struggled with it previously while with us,” the backline coach told @rugby365com, adding: “He probably picked it up [aggravated it] in the World Cup.

“After the World Cup, he saw a few specialists.

“He is up and running with us, so it should not be too long now.”

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The continued absence of the two-time World Cup winner, capped 69 times by his country, is a setback for the Stormers ahead of their United Rugby Championship Round Eight encounter with the Bulls.

The arch-rivals go head-to-head in Cape Town on Saturday, with the Bulls arriving in the Mother City on the back of some astute recruiting.

(WATCH as Stormers assistant coach Dawie Snyman reveals why veteran prop Frans Malherbe has not played since the World Cup…)

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One of the most valuable signings is former Stormer Wilco Louw, the 29-year-old capped 14 times by the Boks.

His arrival in Pretoria has seen a revival of the Bulls scrum and come on the back of some big losses for the Stormers – including Malherbe’s World Cup teammate Steven Kitshoff.

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Snyman admitted Louw is going to be a handful.

“It’s something that they have worked on for a few seasons now,” Snyman said of the Bulls’ off-season recruiting.

“It’s not just happened between the seasons.

“One or two players there are making a big difference,” Snyman added.

“Wilco has been giving them stability in the scrums, and the ability of Willie [le Roux] to combine with other players, that’s what they are doing well at the moment.

“There is just a little more variation in their game, which is great.

“It’s a nice challenge for us. It suits their players as well.

“If you have Kurt-Lee Arendse and Canan Moodie on the wings, you want to get them the ball and they are doing that well.”

@king365ed
@rugby365com

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