Warm-up victories for the Sharks and Stormers have come at a heavy cost with Eben Etzebeth and Keegan Daniel sustaining injuries.
Warm-up game victories for the Sharks and Stormers have come at a heavy cost as Eben Etzebeth, Keegan Daniel and Tim Whitehead all sustained injuries.
Sharks centre Whitehead looks to have come off worst in the Sharks win over the Leopards and looks set for a long spell on the sidelines with a suspected broken arm. Last year's losing finalists are also likely to be without skipper Daniel for the opening rounds after he went down with MCL injury.
Meanwhile, the Stormers are sweating over the fitness of Springbok lock Etzebeth, who limped off with an ankle injury during the win over Boland at Cape Town Stadium
“We are all a bit nervous about Eben's ankle strain. He will go for a scan tonight or tomorrow morning to determine the extent of the injury,” coach Allister Coetzee said at the post-match press conference.
“That's the nature of the beast.
“I think last night Keegan Daniel got an AC joint injury and Tim Whitehead broke his arm [during the Sharks' friendly against the Leopards]. That's the risk you take with these friendly matches.
” [Rynhard Elstadt] doesn't hold back at all. He was firing at 120 miles per hour and that's good should Eben not be able to make it for the first game that there are options at four with Michael Rhodes, Deon Fourie going to six, Duane [Vermeulen] playing at eight and Martin [Bezuidenhout] starting at two, so it's pleasing to know we've got the depth.”