Jantjies looks set to be omitted from starting team to face the Lions at Ellis Park
The Stormers’ Bok scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies looks set to be omitted from the starting team for Saturday’s Super Rugby clash against the Lions at Ellis Park.
He went into last week’s game against the Bulls with a sternum injury and the rigours of that clash have taken an additional toll on the dynamo.
“Herschel was lucky to play last week as he has an injured sternum and is sore.
"We will give him until Thursday to prove his fitness‚ but to be honest‚ even if he is fit for selection‚ we will play him off the bench in Johannesburg‚” said coach John Dobson.
With the Springboks also due mandatory rest at various stages in the season Dobson may also consider taking an even more conservative approach on the fitness of his star player.
The coach just about ruled flanker Jaco Coetzee out of the contest.
“Jaco won't play. He is busy with concussion tests. He failed Monday’s and we can’t hold out in hope that he will come through later in the week.
"So we are going to have to make a plan at openside. We will need pace at Ellis Park so while Johan du Toit‚ who played at No 8 last week‚ is not really a fetcher‚ we might play him there‚ with Juarno Augustus at No 8.”
Dobson may rope in Nama Xaba who has more refined specialist No 6 credentials.
“Nama is the other player in consideration and he is our one genuine opensider but he played Monday night‚” said the coach.
In anticipation of a match on a warm summer’s afternoon at altitude‚ the Stormers trekked out to the Boland town Riebeek Kasteel‚ an hour or so out of Cape Town on Tuesday.
“There are three reasons‚ perhaps the most important being that when we went to Superhero Day in Johannesburg we had 27 degree heat and it was also at altitude and we know how difficult that is‚” said Dobson after the session at the Riebeek Kasteel Primary School. It is the school brothers Pieter-Steph and Johan du Toit attended.
“The main reason for training out here is that one.
"We wanted to find a way to best assimilate the 3.00pm kick-off. It is challenging‚ even at the Hurricanes it was challenging and that game was played in Cape Town.
"It was 39 degrees during training and it will only be about 27 in Joburg but there’s also the altitude effect that comes to play up there. The guys said it felt like they were at altitude.”
Dobson went on to stress the significance of exposing the community in the wider Stormers catchment area the team.
“I stated at the start of the season‚ we want to take the team to the communities‚ and coming here does that‚ while the third reason is that this is where the Du Toits are from‚ and the family have been begging us for a long time to come out and be hosted by them.”