Stormers coach Allister Coetzee is likely to start Jebb Sinclair against the Waratahs while a player from the WP Vodacom Cup side will come onto the bench.
Coetzee has already confirmed that Nizaam Carr will be out for the rest of the season. Nick Koster and Schalk Burger are only expected back from injury when the Stormers host the Lions on 30 June, while Coetzee is hoping Duane Vermeulen will be fit for the 7 July clash against the Cheetahs.
What this means is that the Stormers are likely to make do with what they have until the game against the Lions. Sinclair, a Canadian who has played 25 Tests, was brought into the mix in the middle of last week and subsequently impressed Coetzee with his display against the Cheetahs. Coetzee said Sinclair has proved that he can do a job for the Stormers at No 8.
‘Jebb did well when he came on for Nizaam. He slotted straight in, which as a player with international experience he was expected to do.
‘There were times when that experience was evident. I remember one clear incident when he made a try-saving tackle after reading the Cheetahs’ attack beautifully.’
While Coetzee is confident that Sinclair will continue in the same manner this week, he is still searching for another experienced player who can cover the No 8 position.
He was reluctant to reveal exactly who is on the shopping list, but gave the impression that all further attempts to lure an experienced player to Cape Town for a short spell have been unsuccessful.
What this means is that one of the loose forwards from Western Province’s Vodacom Cup side will come into the match 22. Coetzee said that it would be one of Don Armand or Nick Fenton-Wells, and that the decision would be made on Tuesday.
‘WP are playing in the Vodacom Cup final this week. It’s a bit tough on them to take one of their players, but that’s how it goes.
‘I think people have the wrong idea about why I didn’t select Nick or Don initially. I am looking specifically for a No 8 who can play Super Rugby.
‘A guy like Nick isn’t a lineout option and doesn’t play that ball-carrying game. He is a smaller guy who is great on the ground. He doesn’t play that ball-carrying role at Vodacom Cup level, so I can’t expect him to do it at Super Rugby level.’
There is a chance that Coetzee may have to be more creative should the Stormers suffer further injuries in the coming weeks. If they need to look at another No 8 option, Coetzee said that Siya Kolisi may be shifted to the back of the scrum.
But barring further setbacks, it seems likely that Sinclair will wear the No 8 shirt until the Stormers’ heavy hitters return from injury at the end of June.
By Jon Cardinelli