Stormers look to Sinclair again
STORMERS coach Allister Coetzee suggested Canadian number eight rugby import Jebb Sinclair would start against the Waratahs on Saturday as the team’s looseforward crisis deepened.
Sinclair was drafted into the squad from British club London Irish last week after the Stormers’ three designated number eights – Duane Vermeulen, Nick Koster and Schalk Burger – were all sidelined with long-term injuries.
The decision to contract an unknown Canadian has caused some heated debate in Cape Town, but after Nizaam Carr, the teams’ fourth number eight this season, ruptured knee ligaments against the Cheetahs at the weekend, Sinclair is now set to start.
Loose-forwards Nick FentonWells and Don Armand have been called up, which Coetzee admitted was tough on the Vodacom Cup side, which plays in the final against Griquas on Saturday.
“Jebb did really well last weekend, especially for a player who arrived last Wednesday,” said Coetzee.
“He missed our defensive session last week but as an international player you could see how easily he slotted in, and he produced some excellent moments that were down to his experience.” Coetzee agreed that the current ruling whereby a team has to register 35 players by April 1 and is unable to use players outside that group, or from outside their province in the playoffs, is not ideal given the high attrition rate in this year’s tournament.
Most teams have serious injuries in key positions. The Brumbies and Reds have lost their two firstchoice flyhalves and the Lions were without three first-choice locks and props at a stage.
Yesterday several key forwards such as lock Andries Bekker and flank Siya Kolisi sat out practice as the coach tried to preserve their health knowing that the Sharks and the Bulls await after this weekend’s clash.