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Injuries hit Stormers hard for clash with Bulls

Schalk Burger is expected to captain a second string Stormers team this week

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Article Published: Tuesday 6 May 2014|

The Stormers have paid a hefty price for their one point victory over the Highlanders at Newlands as at least five players will miss the match against the Bulls.

The Stormers are expected to be without Captain Jean de Villiers, prop Steven Kitshoff, scrumhalf Louis Schreuder, lock Jurie van Vuuren and wing Kobus van Wyk for the match at Loftus.

There are also injury concerns over Michael Rhodes and prop Frans Malherbe who will be considered for selection if they pass a fitness test.

Other players on the injury list include centre Michael van der Spuy, wing Devon Williams and flyhalf Gary van Aswegen.

"We are decimated, but the players coming in have to - and want to - perform," said Stormers coach Allister Coetzee

"At this stage of the season, you would think we would have some relief from injuries but we've got a whole lot more.

"Now our preparation is about making sure the injury replacements know what is expected of them."

Coetzee said the medical report had read like a horror movie script when he first set eyes on it on Monday morning.

"Kitshoff damaged knee ligaments and we're looking at a long-term injury here.

"Schreuder has a fractured thumb and that looks like he'll be out for three months. He underwent an operation today (Monday). Van Vuuren suffered a repeat shoulder injury and he'll be out for two months.

"De Villiers is nursing a shoulder knock and he could be sidelined for two weeks."

"Players like (prop) Alistair Vermaak, (scrumhalf) Dylon Frylinck, (flyhalf/centre/fullback) Robert du Preez and (centre) Huw Jones - all from the WP Vodacom Cup team - will join us at training this week, but other Vodacom Cup players, Gary van Aswegen (groin), Michael van der Spuy (broken nose) and Johnny Kotze (knee), are injured and, thus, cannot be considered for selection.]

"In scenarios like this, our job has always been to make sure that the guys coming in will perform at their best by making sure they understand what's expected of them," added Coetzee.

"The players relish the step up and they need to pitch up with the same intensity that we showed against the Highlanders.

"It's always a mighty big challenge playing at Loftus Versfeld, but also a mighty big achievement to perform there or come away with the points."

"All-South African derbies are always big matches and playing the Bulls in Pretoria is a very physical challenge for anyone."

Schalk Burger is expected to captain the team against the Bulls.

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