The Stormers have flown in wing Gerhard van den Heever to Australia, who arrives as a replacement for lock De Kock Steenkamp.
The Stormers have flown in winger Gerhard van den Heever to Australia, who arrives as a squad replacement for injured lock De Kock Steenkamp.
Steenkamp took a blow to his sternum during Friday's 17-18 loss to the Blues and he will be out of action for up to four weeks. He will return home from tour immediately, whilst his team-mates will remain in Sydney for the next phase of their tour for matches against the Waratahs and Rebels.
With Eben Etzebeth having returned to fitness, and Don Armand joining the tour party last week (as a replacement for Michael Rhodes), it was decided to bolster the Stormers' resources out wide instead of calling up an additional forward.
“Yes, it's not like for like – with a wing replacing a lock – but we feel we're well covered up front, with Eben back to fitness and Don having been here for a week now. Having Gerhard join us will give us some more options out wide in our two remaining tour games,” Stormers coach Allister Coetzee explained.
The loss of Steenkamp will be keenly felt, however, the second-row having excelled for the Stormers in the absence of Etzebeth.
“But Eben is ready to start for us, after making his return against the Blues,” added Coetzee.
“Unfortunately, it seems to be a case of 'one in, one out' for us at the moment – first losing Michael and now De Kock, but flying Don in and now having Eben back to full fitness. Eben did well against the Blues, in his first appearance of the 2013 Super Rugby season, and we're looking forward to him adding more value as the tour progresses.”
Coetzee added: “Gerhard had been playing some great rugby this season (before his knee injury), but he has recovered well. He very nearly came into contention for the tour squad from the start, so we look forward to welcoming him back into the fray.”