CAPE TOWN – At least the Stormers will have a proper flyhalf for Friday’s must-win Super Rugby clash against the Highlanders in Dunedin, as Damian Willemse has recovered from a leg injury.
The 19-year-old pivot missed Saturday’s 45-28 defeat to the Crusaders in Christchurch after picking up a haematoma against the Waratahs in Sydney a week earlier.
That resulted in coach Robbie Fleck picking Springbok wing Dillyn Leyds at No 10, with George Whitehead on the bench.
But while Leyds tried hard to make things happen for the Stormers, having the classy Willemse back in the saddle will give some direction to the backline at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.
But the news on Sunday wasn’t as good for lock Schickerling, who picked up a shoulder injury against the Crusaders.
He has started his journey back to Cape Town already, while teenage lock Salmaan Moerat has travelled in the other direction on his first Stormers tour and will join the side in the deep south of New Zealand.
Moerat may yet see some action on Friday. Springbok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit has passed a concussion test after being floored in a dangerous tackle by Crusaders flyhalf Richie Mo’unga.
Du Toit stayed down after what appeared to be a no-arms tackle by Mo’unga, and he was taken off on a stretcher.
The Sanzaar citing commissioner, though, only issued a warning to the Crusaders No 10 on Sunday, as he felt that “a warning was appropriate for this incident”.
So, Du Toit will continue his “return-to-play protocol” with regards to concussion over the next five days before a call is made on whether he will face the Highlanders, which could see Moerat come on to the bench, with Chris van Zyl likely to partner Jan de Klerk in the second row.
The Stormers announced on Sunday that flank Cobus Wiese and hooker Ramone Samuels picked up minor shoulder injuries that will be assessed further on Monday.