Stormers

Liebenberg answers Rassie’s Storming call

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Former WP and Stormers hooker Tiaan Liebenberg, nowadays France-based, has answered a SOS call from Rassie Erasmus and has returned from Toulon to beef up the Stormers’ tour party to New Zealand and Australia.


Liebenberg has been included in the 24-man tour group which was named by Stormers coach Erasmus on Wednesday.


The call to Liebenberg went out after the knee injury to in-form hooker Deon Fourie in last Saturday’s eight-try romp against the Lions at Newlands.


Apart from the Fourie setback the Stormers player resources were ravaged by three other injuries to key players who broke down at Newlands on Saturday.


Lock Andries Bekker, with a broken toe, and wing Nick Koster, are both likely to be out of action for the next weeks which ruled them out of the tour. Wing Tonderai Chavhanga damaged a hamstring but he looks set to join the tour fray in about three weeks’ time.


As a result of this spate of injuries, the Stormers have dug deep into the WP Vodacom Cup squad which have surrendered centres Dylan des Fountain and Morgan Newman as well as forwards Hilton Lobberts (lock) and Schalk Ferreira (hooker or prop) for the Super 14 cause.


Despite the loss of the two wings, Erasmus has opted to call up two centres to boost his backline resources.


His thinking is that centre Gcobani Bobo can fill in out wide when required. The returning fullback Conrad Jantjes who is back to full health can also be deployed on the wing, or even fullback Percy Montgomery.


The big surprise omission from the tour squad is WP flyhalf Joe Pietersen who has been in excellent form and who has played Super 14 rugby in various backline positions.


He would have been an ideal player to have on tour because of his versatility.


The squad will fly out to Christchurch, New Zealand, on Thursday.


The five-match tour opener will be against the Crusaders on Saturday, March 26.


The rest of the matches are against Waratahs (4 April), Brumbies (11 April), Hurricanes (18 April), Highlanders (24 April).


The squad: Adriaan Fondse, AJ Venter, Brian Mujati, Conrad Jantjes, Dewaldt Duvenage, Duane Vermeulen, Dylan des Fountain, Francois Louw, Gcobani Bobo, Hilton Lobberts, JD Moller, Jean de Villiers, Luke Watson, Morgan Newman, Percy Montgomery, Peter Grant, Ricky Januarie, Schalk Brits, Schalk Burger, Schalk Ferreira, Sireli Naqelevuki, Tiaan Liebenberg, Wicus Blaauw and Willem De Waal.


Sapa Super14.com

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