Boks could boost Stormers for Edinburgh showdown
SPOTLIGHT: The Stormers could have a few more Boks back in their team for Saturday’s United Rugby Championship Round Three clash against Edinburgh at Cape Town Stadium
The Capetonians started title defence with a 38-15 bonus-point win over Connacht, but Edinburgh will be a much harder task.
With South Africa’s Rugby Championship campaign over, the Stormers have started ‘reintegrating’ their Boks back into the system.
It means that Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Herschel Jantjies and Deon Fourie are all back in Cape Town.
Lock Salmaan Moerat and hooker Joseph Dweba were already released last week and they are more likely to feature this week
Utility back Damian Willemse, who missed the final Rugby Championship clash against Argentina in Durban due to concussion, could also feature if he recovers in time.
When asked about the returning Springboks’ involvement, Stormers assistant coach Rito Hlungwani said a decision will be made later this week.
“We have started reintegrating them,” said Hlungwani.
“They started training today [Monday] and we will see how they go.
“Some of them haven’t played in while so we will see how they go this week and we will make a decision probably by the end of tomorrow [Tuesday].
On Willemse, Hlungwani added: “He is training – he is doing his return to play protocols.
“Most of the Springboks have started training. We will see how he goes and we should have an answer by tomorrow”.
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Meanwhile, Hlungwani believes there is sufficient depth in the squad to cover the loss of wing Seabelo Senatla.
The 29-year-old suffered a “serious injury” in a dangerous cleanout by Connacht centre Bundee Aki.
The Stormers are still waiting for the results from scans to determine the extent of the injury.
One player that could fill that void is Leolin Zas.
Last season’s leading try-scorer has been out of action since June when he sustained an ankle injury in the semifinal against Ulster.
“We got a number of youngsters that have been roaming around,” said Hlungwani.
“Chris Hollis is with us and Zasie [Leolin Zas] has been running around.
“Suleiman Hartzenberg can also play wing, so we got quite a few options.
“Losing a player [Senatla] with that amount of experience is always a big blow, but we worked really hard to make sure we got good depth in the squad.
“We always have to make a contingency plan because injuries might happen.
“It’s a big blow, but there are quite a lot of soldiers that can step in and do the job for us.
“With regards to Zas, he was training with us today, so we will see how he goes.”