Stormers fail in Clever bid

USA loose forward Todd Clever’s loan move to the Stormers has fallen through after an agreement couldn’t be reached during negotiations.

Clever was the Stormers’ last hope of recruiting another overseas-based loose forward as they searched for quality and experienced depth during their injury crisis. With Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen, Nick Koster and Nizaam Carr all sidelined, the USA Eagles captain expressed his interest in joining the Cape franchise on a short loan move.

However, Clever confirmed that the Stormers couldn’t settle a deal with his new Japanese club NTT Shining Arcs when the two parties consulted on Monday.

‘I did everything I could from my side. I was ready to help out,’ Clever told keo.co.za. ‘However, my understanding is that the negotiations didn’t work out between the two teams. The Stormers said they needed me ASAP, but there were issues about injury insurance costs, and release and return dates.

‘I am disappointed that I won’t get a chance now, but should something come up again, I hope a deal can be worked out.’

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee revealed that he also failed in luring other experienced loose forwards from abroad. He now plans to use players from the victorious WP Vodacom Cup squad.

‘I have been in touch with a number of players since Nizaam broke down [against the Cheetahs], but we’ve got two more games before the break and I’m going to back my local depth,’ said Coetzee. ‘I’ve been in contact with Danie Rossouw [Suntory Sungoliath, Japan] and Ernst Joubert [Saracens, England] but at this point we’re coping with the situation.’

Burger and Koster are expected to recover from their injuries after the June Test break. The duo should be ready to feature in the clash against the Lions on 30 June, while Vermeulen is only due to return to action against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on 7 July.

By Gareth Duncan