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Sun Apr 20 10:54:45 SAST 2014

Stormers slay Smit rumour

CRAIG RAY | 24 January, 2013 07:250 Comments
Saracens v Leicester Tigers - Aviva Premiership
John Smit of Saracens is tackled by Steve Mafi of Leicester Tigers during the Aviva Premiership match at Wembley Stadium on September 15, 2012 in London, England
Image by: Steve Bardens / Getty Images

STORMERS coach Allister Coetzee has dismissed speculation that former Springbok skipper John Smit would join the franchise on a temporary basis as cover at hooker.

A Cape Town newspaper claimed Saracens-based Smit would join the Stormers because both Tiaan Liebenberg and Scarra Ntubeni were injured, but Coetzee laughed it off.

"I've been talking to three hookers but none of them is John Smit," Coetzee said.

"They are all locally based players, but at this stage I can't reveal their names because we are working out the terms of a potential short-term agreement.

"By next week our new hooker will be at training. I'm looking at reasonably experienced players because you need to have two experienced hookers and a youngster - and Scarra is our youngster.

"It's difficult to find someone on a short-term basis because the player knows his chances here will be limited."

Lions hooker Martin Bezuidenhout is one of the favourites to take up the short-term contract.

Ntubeni injured his shoulder two weeks ago and has had shoulder surgery.

"Scarra had an operation on Tuesday night and the problem has been solved," Coetzee said.

"It was a success and now all he has to do is recover.

"He starts rehab on April 1 and should be ready to play by the end of April.

"Tiaan is doing well but he hasn't taken full contact yet and at a push he will be back by the third week of the tournament, or perhaps a week earlier."

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