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Stormers get a Bok back as life begins without Deon

SPOTLIGHT: Stormers assistant coach Dawie Snyman has provided updates on some of the injured players in his squad as they prepare for their United Rugby Championship Round 14 clash against Ospreys in Cape Town on Saturday.

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The Capetonians are still feeling the effects of their bruising Champions Cup Round of 16 defeat to Stade Rochelais on March 30.

Deon Fourie and Leolin Zas both suffered knee injuries in that match, while loose forwards Ben-Jason Dixon and Hacjivah Dayimani and captain Salmaan Moerat suffered big knocks to the head.

Last week, Fourie was ruled out for the season after undergoing surgery, but the Stormers are hoping that Zas could play a role later in the season.

“Zas will hopefully be back for the play-offs. He didn’t go for any surgery,” said Snyman.

The good news for the Stormers is that they will have a Bok speedster available should they need him over the next couple of weeks.

“[Courtnall] Skosan had a calf injury, but he is back in full training now and it helps with Zas not being available,” Snyman added.

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Meanwhile, the three players who suffered head knocks against Stade Rochelais are making progress.

“I think it’s looking good. Unfortunately, we were not involved over the weekend [in the Champions Cup quarterfinals], but the extra days helped,” said Snyman.

“They have done their protocols and they are back on course.”

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On flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis, Snyman added: “He had a groin problem, but he is actually looking great and he is in good form and maybe he can get a shout.”

The Ospreys will enter Saturday’s match just four points behind the Stormers on the table. However, one player the Stormers won’t have to deal with is star George North who suffered a season-ending injury in Wales’ Final Six Nations clash against Italy last month.

“If big players are not available, it makes a difference. We want the best guys available to play, but whoever they will select will do a good job,” said Snyman.

“A lot of their game is around the forward pack so we first have to do the job there before we worry about what is going on at the back.

“They are well-coached up front and they got a good set-piece.”

@rugby365com

Main photo: @THESTORMERS

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