DHL Western Province has been rocked by the loss of hooker Scarra Ntubeni ahead of their first home Absa Currie Cup match of the season against the Vodacom Blue Bulls on Saturday.
Ntubeni was set to replace Tiaan Liebenberg, who is out with a back injury, in the team that beat the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth last week. However, according to coach Allister Coetzee, Ntubeni injured a calf in training and has been forced to withdraw from the team at the 11th hour.
“Unfortunately Scarra picked up a calf injury at training on Tuesday and it has subsequently been confirmed that he will be out for a minimum of 14 days,” said Coetzee.
Tiaan Liebenberg’s back problem has flared up again but that blow to DHL Western Province’s build-up to Saturday’s north/south Absa Currie Cup showdown with the Vodacom Blue Bulls has been offset by the news that as many as six top players will be returning to action this week.
Scarra Ntubeni is among those that will be assessed on Monday, and he will be an obvious replacement for Liebenberg at hooker should he be declared fit. Liebenberg is to undergo a scan to assess the severity of his injury but he will definitely miss the Bulls game.
The other players coming back into the system are Rynhardt Elstadt, who has been out since the early stages of Super Rugby, Brok Harris, Kurt Coleman, Jaco Taute and Ruan Botha. The latter should come in at No 5 lock, with Manuel Carizza moving to the front of the lineout as Eben Etzebeth will be the with the Boks this week.
Scarra Ntubeni fractured a metatarsal in his left foot as the DHL Stormers suffered a 12-28 away defeat to the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday evening.
The Springbok tourist – who was out of action for a few weeks with a calf-muscle injury earlier in the tournament – is now set for a minimum lay-off of at least eight weeks.
DHL Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee has made four changes ahead of Saturday afternoon’s Vodacom Super Rugby home clash against the Highlanders.
Hooker Scarra Ntubeni and wing Sailosi Tagicakibau are back in the selection frame for the Stormers ahead of this coming weekend’s home Super Rugby clash against the Highlanders, the Stormers’ official website reports.
Ntubeni has not featured for the Stormers since their tour-opener against the Crusaders back in early March, but his return – along with Tagicakibau’s – will be a major boost to his team.
Squad captain Jean de Villiers, prop Pat Cilliers and lock / flank Jurie van Vuuren are all back on deck this week, and available for selection against the Lions.
Hookers Scarra Ntubeni and Tiaan Liebenberg and wing Kobus van Wyk are not available for selection as yet, whilst flank Schalk Burger and winger Cheslin Kolbe will be given until later in the week to see if they are available.
The DHL Stormers side has suffered some injuries whilst on tour, with Scarra Ntubeni and Patrick Cilliers sent back to South Africa.
As a result, the Stormers are looking for suitable replacements to join them on tour.
In addition they have tried to obtain the services of Griquas hooker on loan, Martin Bezuidenhot, which have apparently been unuccessful.
DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee was gutted for his players after their dramatic one-point defeat to the Crusaders on Saturday.
This is the second article in the series of Stormers Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We do 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.
We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.
In this Article we look at the contenders for HOOKERS in the DHL Stormers 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.
Siyabonga “Scarra” Ntubeni is one of four uncapped players who will join three stalwarts of the Rugby World Cup winning squad of 2007, JP Pietersen, Jaque Fourie and Bakkies Botha, in 32-man Springbok squad for the forthcoming Castle Lager Outgoing Tour to Wales, Scotland and France.
It will be Botha and Fourie’s first involvement with the Springboks since the previous Rugby World Cup, in 2011 in New Zealand, while Pietersen is back in the squad for the first time this year.
Western Province hooker Scarra Ntubeni has avoided further punishment after he was yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle in their Currie Cup semi-final win over the Golden Lions at the weekend.
Ntubeni was sent to the sin-bin in the 73rd minute of the match at Newlands after he tip-tackled the Lions’ Robert de Bruyn.
Lions hooker Martin Bezuidenhout will join the DHL Stormers at the start of next week, as injury cover up front.
Doubts surrounding the availability of Tiaan Liebenberg and Scarra Ntubeni has forced the Stormers management to urgently search for a back-up to Deon Fourie for the start of the Super Rugby campaign.