The Stormers will lose a bit of “tempo” as a result of Herschel Jantjies’ absence in Saturday’s Super Rugby showdown with the Sharks at Newlands.
The lively scrumhalf was forced off with a shoulder injury in last week’s 31-18 victory over the Sunwolves, and was replaced by Jano Vermaak.
And on Tuesday, Stormers coach Robbie Fleck confirmed the worst – Jantjies is not yet fit enough to face the Sharks on Saturday (3.05pm kickoff), although he hopes the halfback will be ready if they reach the playoffs.
“It looks like there is a bit of bone bruising and a muscle tear, so at this stage he is not good for selection,” the sarugbymag.co.za website reported Fleck as saying.
“The good news is that it is not a long-term injury. He has gone to see another specialist today, so we are waiting for those scans to come back. Hopefully, he will be back next week.
“Herschel is a big part of our plans at the moment. In saying that, Jano did very well on the weekend. It is good to have his experience back in the squad.
“Herschel is going to be missed, and he definitely brings a tempo to our game.”
Jantjies has been one of the unsung heroes that have kept the Stormers’ playoff hopes alive with a number of timely tries and even interventions on defence.
He proved that size doesn’t matter once more at the weekend when he drilled Sunwolves wing Gerhard van den Heever backwards inside the Stormers 22.
Veteran scrumhalf Vermaak has been hampered by injury this season, but made a noticeable impact as a replacement last week, which should see him wear the No 9 jersey against the Sharks.
Centre Damian de Allende and hooker Scarra Ntubeni are also expected to return for the must-win derby, but the prognosis is not so good on Pieter-Steph du Toit, who has been ruled out for a further six weeks.
Stormers v Sunwolves | Super Rugby 2019 Rd 17 Highlights— Super Rugby (@SuperRugby) June 8, 2019
The @sunwolves put up a spirited performance but the @THESTORMERS come away with the 31-18 victory in Cape Town.#SuperRugby #STOvSUN pic.twitter.com/wbkrxCUw7I
Bok coach Rassie Erasmus said last Friday that he thinks only Warren Whiteley and Lood de Jager are doubtful for the Rugby Championship, which kicks off on 20 July when South Africa face Australia at Ellis Park.
Now, though, Du Toit will be added to that list, which compounds Erasmus’ loose-forward headache, as captain Siya Kolisi also won’t have played any rugby leading up to the Wallabies clash.