Stormers turn to Europe for replacements

The suspect depth of the Stormers has been tacitly admitted by the franchise’s management with the inclusion of former Springbok Tiaan Liebenberg, now playing in France, for the Stormers’ Super 14 tour to Australasia.

Liebenberg, who was on the Springboks’ 2007 year-end tour to the UK, replaces Stormers number two hooker Deon Fourie who has a knee injury that keeps him from touring.

Stormers’ assistant coach Gary Gold also admitted that there was thought of obtaining the services of former Stormers lock Ross Skeate, now playing his rugby with Toulon, because of the toe injury to Andries Bekker that will keep the big lock from touring.

Skeate was, however, not available because of a broken jaw. The Stormers will now be looking to AJ Venter, former Bok flank Hilton Lobberts and loose forwards Duane Vermeulen and Francois Louw to cover the lock position.

The Stormers will also be without wings Nick Koster and Tonderai Chavhanga, who were injured within minutes of one another in the huge win over the Lions in Saturday.

“Tiaan replaces Deon. We don’t know if he would be departing with the team on Thursday though, as he has to get a visa and at this stage we are not sure if he would get one in time,” coach Rassie Erasmus is quoted as saying by the Stormers website.

“He would probably have to join us later. Tiaan arrives tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, so we have no idea about how quickly he can get a visa.” There is some good news as well.

Springbok fullback Conrad Jantjes has recovered from a calf injury and is ready for the tour.

Vodacom Cup centres Morgan Newman and Dylan des Fountain will both be in the touring party, according to the website.

Sapa –

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