Sireli 'Touch and Go' for Sharks after Rib Injury

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BIG Stormers wing Sireli Naqelevuki is a "touch and go" starter for his team's opening Super 14 clash against the Sharks at Newlands on February 14 after he sustained a rib injury in a warm-up game against Boland on Saturday.

Stormers media manager Frikkie Erasmus told the Cape Times last night that Naqelevuki went for a MRI scan in the morning. After the scan was studied by a specialist, Naqelevuki was ruled out for "two to four weeks", according to Erasmus.

"Luckily there is no fracture of the rib, but he took a knock to the cartilage in the rib cage," he said. "He will be out for two to four weeks, so he is touch and go for the Sharks game. It is such a big blow as he played so well against Boland."

Naqelevuki came off the field with what coach Rassie Erasmus initially described as "quite a hard knock to his chest". Naqelevuki was devastating in the short period he was on the field, breaking the Boland defence easily with his pace and power.

If he is, as expected, unable to face the Sharks, the Stormers have a dilemma on their hands in trying to replace him.

Erasmus may just call on regular fullback Conrad Jantjes, who has missed both warm-up games against Saracens and Boland with a groin niggle, to stand in for Naqelevuki at left wing.

Jantjes has played Test and Super 14 rugby at wing before, while experienced Bok fullback Percy Montgomery looks in good shape after an extended pre-season preparation phase. …