Super Rugby

Stormers injuries have been 'bad luck'

Damian de Allende (Gallo Images)
Damian de Allende (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Conditioning and an intense pre-season were key aspects of the Stormers' preparation for the 2017 Super Rugby campaign. 

Fitness levels were considered to be a major reason that the New Zealand sides were so dominant in 2016, forcing all of the South African franchises to place more of a focus on ensuring that their players could match their Kiwi opposition on matchday. 

But, for the Stormers, injuries have been a major problem in 2017. 

At the moment, Fleck has a flyhalf crisis with Robert du Preez (pectoral muscle), Jean-Luc du Plessis (groin, hip) and Kurt Coleman (ankle) all out injured. 

Other big names such as Scarra Ntubeni, Damian de Allende, Juan de Jongh, Seabelo Senatla, Rynhardt Elstadt, JC Janse van Rensburg, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Eben Etzebeth have also struggled with injuri throughout the season and it means that Fleck has never been able to choose his best side. 

The Stormers boss was asked on Monday if he could provide an explanation for the injuries this season, but he put it down to "bad luck".

"It has just been bad luck. You go on tour and you get two dislocated shoulders ... what can you do about that?" Fleck said.

"Pieter-Steph (Du Toit) has been struggling with a knee injury for some time since the Chiefs game and he had to be rested, Eben (Etzebeth) had a continuous calf problem and that's why he left the tour. JC (Janse van Rensburg)... a torn bicep and what can you do about that?

Fleck continued to name his injured stars, adding that those injuries were down to isolated incidents or little problems that the players have had for a while ... not excessive workloads. 

"Jean-Luc (Du Plessis) has got a hip injury and that's something that's been there for a while. The list goes on, but most of it has been pretty much traumatic injuries between the four white lines and there's absolutely nothing you can do about that," Fleck said.

"Rynhardt was an ankle in a maul, Damian de Allende was a sindesmosis in a tackle, Juan de Jongh was a medial in a tackle ... you can't do much about those injuries, it's part of the game.

"It seems like every side has got the same issue. It's a tough game that we're playing ... Super Rugby especially.

"The injury rates haven't gone down, they've stayed the same year in and year out. That's why your squad is so important going forward."

This week, Fleck does at least welcome back De Allende, De Jongh, Senatla and Elstadt as he prepares for Friday night's clash against the Blues at Newlands. 

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