Stormers call on Barry as flu hits squad
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck has been left with little option but to recall utility back Craig Barry from the Cheetahs for this weekend’s Super Rugby clash against the Blues at Newlands.
Barry was on loan to the PRO 14 team‚ with the understanding that if needed he would be recalled to the union where he is contracted.
Only no one expected it to be after a mere four rounds of the tournament.
But injury and illness have felled the Stormers squad.
The Stormers have lost fullback SP Marais for two weeks due to a rib injury while wings Seabelo Senatla and Sergeal Petersen are out for an extended period.
Senatla has a groin problem‚ which Fleck admitted could mean six weeks on the sidelines while Petersen suffered knee ligament damage in a friendly warm-up last weekend and is likely to miss the rest of the Super Rugby campaign.
Barry played in a pre-season warm-up for the Stormers and has been making telling contributions for the Cheetahs in the northern hemisphere tournament.
He will‚ in all likelihood‚ be on the bench for the match against the Blues.
Centre Dan Kriel has returned to full training while flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis is also back from nearly a year in the sidelines with a groin problem‚ although he will only be considered after the Blues clash.
Marais’ injury means Dillyn Leyds‚ who has played wing‚ fullback and flyhalf already this season‚ will take over from Marais a fullback.
“It is unfortunate for Dillyn that he has to move around a lot‚” Fleck conceded.
“SP is out for two weeks. We are hearing that Seabelo Senatla could be out for six weeks.
“Dillyn understands the situation we are in‚ though it can’t be easy for him.
"Fortunately we have JJ Engelbrecht who can cover both centre and wing‚ and we have called Craig Barry back from the Cheetahs.”
And‚ as if things couldn’t be worse for the Stormers after losing three matches on tour‚ most of the squad was unable to train on Tuesday due to a bad dose of flu sweeping through the camp.
Lock Pieter-Steph du Toit missed last week’s Highlanders match in Dunedin‚ which the Stormers lost 33-15‚ due to the illness.
“It has been a really strong dose of flu that has hit us‚” Fleck said.
“Pieter-Steph du Toit passed his concussion tests last week but was then ruled out of sitting on the bench in Dunedin because of flu.
“Damian de Allende also had flu and so did SP Marais. Now a couple of other boys have it and are resting up in bed. It hangs around for a week so it is problematic.
“The guys pitched today for a training session and a meeting but we had to send half the management members home as well as a good few players so it was pointless doing anything.
“Most of the guys will need until Thursday‚ and we will just have to make do with a busy day on Thursday. The forwards are getting together for a session as there are enough of them fit.”