Stormers get help from Cheetahs ahead of Leinster clash
NEWS: The Stormers have received much-needed help from one of their fellow South African franchises.
With the hooker position being a major problem area in terms of injuries, Stormers assistant coach Dawie Snyman revealed that Wilmar Arnoldi has joined them on loan from the Cheetahs.
Springbok Siyabonga Ntubeni will be out of action for a lengthy period after he suffered a “bad” Achilles injury in the 32-7 win over Glasgow.
With Andre-Hugo Venter and Chad Solomon both a week away from returning to the training field, it meant that JJ Kotze was the only fit hooker in the squad heading into a massive clash against Leinster.
The Stormers have the option of moving the returning Deon Fourie to hooker, but the coaching team would prefer it if the 35-year-old focuses on his loose-forward play.
It’s for those reasons that Arnoldi will be thrust into action this weekend and his main goal will be to help the Stormers keep their dominance in the scrums.
“We want to play in a certain way and a lot of people see the offloads and the space that we create and it starts from somewhere, so his main priority will be to get the set-piece right,” said Snyman.
“He will be working with Frans [Malherbe] and others in terms of scrumming and the line-outs will also be a vital part of the game.
“We will probably let him focus on that for the week and just get a little bit of understanding on how we play.
“We know he is quite a tough player and he is good on the ground.
“He can steal the ball and he is quite a good defender. Set-piece wise he is spot on.
“He has got a great throw and is a good scrummaging hooker.”
On Fourie, Snyman added: “Deon’s versatility is great and he is doing great for us at loose forward.
“It’s probably why we also got Wilmar in so that Deon covers that position [No.6] for us this weekend.
“But he still needs to be there [at hooker] as a back-up. I didn’t see him throw in today [Monday], but hopefully, we can keep Deon focussing on No.6.”