Stormers hearing set for Wednesday
The Stormers' SANZAR judicial hearing regarding a case of matchday misconduct during their clash with the Hurricanes will reconvene on Wednesday.
The hearing was adjourned on Thursday 9 May 2013 to allow the Stormers to seek independent legal advice, after Judicial Officer Adam Casselden said he "could not proceed due to concerns that a fair hearing was no longer possible because of the disclosure of certain information to him”.
According to reports in New Zealand, the charge stems from abuse directed at assistant referee Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri. It is alleged that members of the Stormers camp called Eden-Whaitiri a “cheat” and said that he “should go back to club rugby."
The Stormers have more than just the hearing to worry about, with coach Allister Coetzee facing a selection poser at flank. The Stormers lost both Duane Vermeulen and Rynhardt Elstadt to knee injuries against the Waratahs and the duo have returned home to South Africa after being ruled out of action for six to eight weeks.
With Michael Rhodes also sidelined, the Stormers are low on resources among the loose forwards and this could result in a positional switch for Fourie. While primarily a hooker, Fourie wore the number six jersey with distinction for Western Province during last year's Currie Cup and he may be asked to perform the role once more.
Should Fourie move to the side of the scrum, it is likely that Nizaam Carr will start at number eight with Siya Kolisi on the other flank. If this is the case, Scarra Ntubeni should get his first start at hooker with Martin Bezuidenhout elevated to the bench as cover.
Such plans could be thrown out should the rib injury that saw Fourie leave the park in Sydney prove more troublesome than originally thought, although coach Allister Coetzee reveals he is making good progress.
"Deon has responded well to treatment thus far - it looks better," said Coetzee.
"We will give him a chance until Wednesday before making a final decision (on him), but it looks relatively positive with Deon now."