Question marks over injured players, Coetzee’s future

The Stormers have issues to deal with in the coming weeks: potentially serious injuries to two locks and uncertainty over the future of coach Allister Coetzee.

On Friday night the Stormers secured their second Super Rugby warm-up win of the pre-season with a 39-31 victory over the Cheetahs at Newlands.

But they watched as locks Manuel Carizza and Eben Etzebeth both left the field in the first half.

This, on the same day that Coetzee had been linked in a story to a move to Japanese club Kobelco Steelers at the end of the 2015 Super Rugby campaign.

Coetzee dismissed the report after the match, but did not fully deny it either.

“My future is predictable – I’m still contracted to Western Province rugby [until the end of the year] and I haven’t signed with anyone else,” Coetzee said.

“But I haven’t signed a new contract with WP either. My head is fully in this campaign and that’s where I’d like to leave any speculation. My future decisions are personal and I hope you’ll respect that.”

Uncertainty over Coetzee’s future at Newlands might dog the campaign in the long run, but concern over injuries to Etzebeth and Carizza is far more pressing.

– Craig Ray

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