Cape Town - The Stormers are sweating on the availability of loosehead prop Steven Kitshoff but remain confident that his absence would not pose a problem in Saturday’s Super Rugby opener against the Bulls in Pretoria.
Forwards coach Russell Winter said Ali Vermaak would prove a more than capable replacement for Kitshoff.
"It will be a loss if Steven is not available but Ali was fantastic in last year’s Currie Cup and really deserves an opportunity. He gives his heart and soul to the team... is a WP man through and through... he scrums well and does well in broken play. I really hope this will be his year," Winter said.
Apart from Vermaak, there’s also the services of Corne Fourie to call on.
"Corne arrived from the Lions with a great attitude. Depth will be vital to our cause this year," Winter added.
Saturday’s clash at Loftus Versfeld is scheduled for 17:15.