Stormers keep Kurt at No 10
THE Stormers will still be without first-choice flyhalves Peter Grant and Elton Jantjies for this weekend's second and final pre-Super 15 warm-up game against Boland at the Cape Town Stadium.
Jantjies is still on compassionate leave following his father's death 10 days ago, and Grant's Japanese club Kobe Steelers won through to the next round of the domestic championship.
If they go all the way to the final, Grant will also miss the opening round of the season on February 22 against the Bulls as the Japanese final is on the same weekend.
Jantjies is set to return to camp on February 10, but it would be a risk to throw him in against the Bulls after having missed two crucial weeks in the build-up.
So Kurt Coleman, who gave an accomplished performance against the Cheetahs on Saturday, has suddenly become the leading contender to lead the line against the Bulls.
Coach Allister Coetzee was hoping to give all his top players a run this weekend, but centre Juan de Jongh suffered a hamstring strain in the 27-26 defeat against the Cheetahs, and flank Schalk Burger has a calf strain.
"Juan's injury isn't good. It's worse than a grade one tear," Coetzee said.
"It's a minimum of two weeks, but that's a minimum so I think about three weeks. He's touch and go for the opener but I'll be cautious because it's early days."
It's particularly worrying as Burger has been out for a year after a serious knee injury in the opening game of the 2012 season.
Like Jantjies, he too, will go into the season-opener with no mileage on the wheels.
"It's really unfortunate for Schalla because he has trained so hard and this has put him back a few steps," Coetzee said.
"After a long lay-off I guess the workload put strain on the calf, which happens when players come back from long lay-offs."
Fullback Jaco Taute has flu, wing Gio Aplon a stomach bug and Michael Rhodes a slight hamstring strain so they won't be considered this weekend. Joe Pietersen will come in for Taute.
On the positive side of the ledger there will be appearances for hooker Deon Fourie, lock Andries Bekker, flanks Siya Kolisi and Rynhardt Elstadt and centre Jean de Villiers.