Stormers hope to have Vermeulen back for Rebels

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says that captain Duane Vermeulen and Jaco Taute could both face the Rebels when the Cape Town franchise host the Rebels after their bye.

Vermeulen suffered a stinger during Saturday’s 25-24 win over the Brumbies at Newlands and there was concern that he could have picked up a significant injury.

Coetzee says that Vermeulen and flanker Schalk Burger, who has some general bumps and bruises, will both benefit from the week’s break.

“Duane, like the rest of the squad, will enjoy this entire week off – a rest which comes just at the right time after a heavy workload for everyone,” said Coetzee.

“We have not had a break since mid-March, which includes our four-week tour of Australasia. It’s been pretty full-on, so we’re looking forward to this week off before three successive home games at Newlands – against the Rebels, the Cheetahs and the Lions. “

Utility back Jaco Taute (knee) got fifty minutes for the Western Province Vodacom Cup team at the weekend and came through the match well in his first first-class appearance of 2015.

“Hopefully, after getting 50 minutes for the Vodacom Cup team against SWD on Saturday, Jaco will be able to get (another) 80 minutes for the Western Province team in their quarterfinal against the Leopards this coming weekend,” said Coetzee.

“After that extra game time under his belft, Jaco could be available to us after our bye (against the Rebels). “

Coetzee said that he was pleased to see outside centre Juan de Jongh (hip pointer) come through Saturday’s match with flying colours, after being in doubt during the build-up to the game and in general he was very happy to have beaten the Brumbies.

“To come back from 16-3 down and (to) win a game having had just one training session (because of the Springbok training camp) shows a lot about the character of this team.

“I’m really proud of the team – the leadership, the management team; everyone. The Brumbies are the Australian Conference leaders, so it was an impressive second-half performance. “

In other injury news Lock Ruan Botha (ankle – two to four weeks), flank Mike Rhodes (hamstring – expected back v Cheetahs, May 30) and wing Kobus van Wyk (knee – expected back v Lions, June 6) will all continue to undergo rehabilitation for their respective injuries.

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