CAPE TOWN – How will the loss of JD Schickerling impact the Stormers as they prepare for Friday’s match against the Highlanders?
In a huge way, that’s for sure.
Coach Robbie Fleck said on Monday that the hard-working lock – a standout in the Stormers’ 45-28 defeat to the Crusaders in Christchurch – could be out for up to three months with a torn bicep.
Schickerling – who jumped to a higher spot on rugby’s ‘players to watch’ list with his superb Currie Cup performances last year – has been immense for the Stormers, and at the weekend he again stood out in a pack that didn’t lack praiseworthy performers.
And while further tests have to be done to get more clarity on the forward’s injury, Fleck said that they will “probably be expecting him back towards the end of the competition”.
“They (medical team) still have to give us a definitive answer, but at the moment they are saying he will be out for up to 12 weeks,” Fleck said from Dunedin. “He has torn a bicep and they will do more investigations when he gets back home, but it doesn’t look good for him.
“We will probably be expecting him back towards the end of the tournament. He was outstanding on the weekend against three All Black locks.”
Former SA Schools captain Salmaan Moerat has joined the team in New Zealand to provide some cover in the Stormers’ troubled second row – which could also be without Springbok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit if he doesn’t recover well enough later this week, after he took a knock to the head against the Crusaders.
Another Stormers standout at the weekend was flank Cobus Wiese.
Fleck said Wiese is “hurting” physically, and he’s another one who seems likely to sit out the last game of their three-match tour to Australasia.