Stormers to reel in Clever?

USA loose forward Todd Clever’s loan move to the Stormers will be decided over the next 24 hours.

Clever, who featured for the Lions in 2009 and 2010 and recently signed for Japanese club NTT Shining Arcs, confirmed that the Stormers have made a call for his services as they are currently struggling with a loose forward injury crisis.

The Cape franchise has lost team captain Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen, Nick Koster and Nizaam Carr to injury, and has announced its plans of bringing in experienced cover options. Canadian No 8 Jebb Sinclair has been recruited but the management still feels there is a lack of depth.

The Shining Arcs are in the process of reviewing the Stormers’ short loan deal request and should make a final decision by Tuesday.

‘I’m definitely keen on a return to South African rugby and would love to play for the Stormers,’ Clever told keo.co.za. ‘There’s just some red tape around the move and the finer details are being discussed from this side. A final decision will be made over the next 24 hours.’

Clever has played 40 Tests for the USA and captained the side at last year’s World Cup in New Zealand. He also featured regularly for current Japanese club champions Suntory Sungoliath in their successful 2011-12 season, which saw them win the league and knock-out competitions.

Clever is the Stormers’ best chance of bringing in loose forward cover from overseas. Saracens hooker Schalk Brits was used as a flank reserve during the 29-10 semi-final defeat to the Crusaders in 2011, but CEO Edward Griffiths said the English club will not loan out any of their players this year. This rules out recent reports of eighthman Ernst Joubert joining the squad.

‘The likes of Jacques Burger, Kelly Brown and Justin Melck are all currently suffering from long-term knee injuries,’ Griffiths also told this site. ‘There is Ernst Joubert, but he is getting married soon and will not be available.’

By Gareth Duncan