Johannesburg – Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee on Saturday announced a 27-man squad for his team's four-match Super Rugby tour of Australasia.
The squad, led by centre Jean de Villiers, includes new Samoan star Sailosi Tagicakibau and Japan-based Peter Grant, but excludes Argentinean lock Manuel Carizza.
Carizza suffered a wrist injury in Friday's 19-18 win over the Hurricanes at Newlands and will be out of action for eight weeks.
As a result, former WP Under-21 star Ruan Botha will travel with the squad, joining fit-again lock De Kock Steenkamp as one of the second-row options in the group – alongside Rynhardt Elstadt and Michael Rhodes.
Coetzee said: “It's very unfortunate for Manuel – he tore ligaments in his wrist and he will be out for two months.
“That said, Ruan has a great opportunity to get some game time after showing plenty of promise during our pre-season matches and, of course, it's great to have De Kock Steenkamp in the group, too, now that he's back to full fitness.”
Commenting on Friday's win, Coetzee said: “We know we can still improve in many areas, but we're happy to be heading abroad with that 'W' behind our name and we will build on that in what will be a very challenging tour.”
The Stormers will depart for New Zealand on Sunday. They will play their opening tour match against the Crusaders in Christchurch next Saturday and follow with matches against the Chiefs in Hamilton on March 14, the Brumbies in Canberra on March 22 and the Reds in Brisbane on March 29.
The squad is: Gio Aplon, Ruan Botha, Schalk Burger, Nizaam Carr, Demetri Catrakilis, Pat Cilliers, Kurt Coleman, Damian de Allende, Jean de Villiers, Rynhardt Elstadt, Deon Fourie, Peter Grant, Nic Groom, Brok Harris, Oli Kebble, Steven Kitshoff, Siya Kolisi, Tiaan Liebenberg, Frans Malherbe, Scarra Ntubeni, Michael Rhodes, Louis Schreuder, De Kock Steenkamp, Sailosi Tagicakibau, Jaco Taute, Kobus van Wyk and Duane Vermeulen. – Sapa