Etzebeth on verge of Stormers return
April 29, 2013
Eben Etzebeth has recovered from his ankle injury and is set to start on the bench for the Stormers © Getty Images
Springboks lock Eben Etzebeth is on track for a return to Super Rugby when his Stormers face the Blues in Auckland on Friday.
Etzebeth, 21, who burst onto the international stage last year, injured his ankle during a pre-season game 10 weeks ago but is likely to make his return via the reserve bench at Eden Park. Stormers coach Allister Coetzee will nearly have a full squad to choose from after flanker Siya Kolisi (groin) and fly-half Elton Jantjes were also unavailable for Friday's tour-opening 18-16 defeat of the Hurricanes in Palmerston North.
Their return offsets the loss of flanker Michael Rhodes to an ankle injury, which has forced him to return to Cape Town. Coetzee said his forward pack would need to be focused against a Blues side that impressed him in its 12-11 loss to Queensland Reds in Brisbane.
"They're a difficult team to stop once they settle into a rhythm, so we need to be at our best defensively and we need to dominate the collisions - as you have to do against any New Zealand team," he said.