Super Rugby

Who will Stormers back at flyhalf?

Kurt Coleman (Gallo Images)
Kurt Coleman (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - When the Stormers injury report was released on Tuesday, there was more bad news on the flyhalf front. 

Injury in that position is a problem that has plagued coach Robbie Fleck throughout his first two seasons at the helm of the Cape Town franchise, and as the 2017 edition of the tournament reaches it business end, he will be scratching his head once more. 

The news on Tuesday was that Jean-Luc du Plessis and Robert du Preez - the two first-choice flyhalves at the start of the year - have both been ruled out for the rest of the season. 

Du Plessis has had an ongoing problem with a hip injury that now requires surgery while Du Preez has a torn pectoral muscle that will rule him out for three months. 

Top of their Conference and with no chance of being overtaken, the Stormers are set to host a quarter-final at Newlands but must now go through the rest of their season without the two playmakers they had backed from the beginning. 

But Fleck does have a few options at his disposal. 

Before the international break he used Dillyn Leyds at No 10 against the Blues at Newlands. 

Leyds has long been vocal on his desire to play flyhalf and it is a position where he has been highly-rated ever since his school days. Fleck also believes that the 24-year-old is an exciting prospect at first-receiver, but his best rugby this season has come from out wide. 

Based on seniority and experience, Fleck may rather be tempted to back Kurt Coleman through the latter stages of the season. The 27-year-old has never really managed to get going at Newlands, thanks largely to injury and other players being picked ahead of him, but he does have 29 Super Rugby caps to his name now and is by far the most seasoned option Fleck has. 

Coleman is fit again and played in the Stormers' 22-10 loss to the Sharks in Durban on the weekend before the international break. 

The other options are Brandon Thomson, who continues to perform well whenever he is given an opportunity in the SuperSport Challenge side, and Damian Willemse, who has seriously enhanced his reputation at the World Rugby U-20 Championship in Georgia. 

Despite the Junior Springboks' semi-final exit to England on Tuesday, Willemse leaves the tournament with his head held high after impressing in the No 12 jersey.  

But whether or not Fleck is prepared to throw the 19-year-old into the deep end and at pivot remains to be seen. 

The Stormers are next in action when they travel to Bloemfontein for a date with the Cheetahs on July 1. 

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