Bekker out with injury

Stormers and Springbok lock Andries Bekker has been ruled out for five weeks with injury.

Andries Bekker (L) of the Stormers tackles Ben May of the Hurricanes during the Super 15 Rugby Match between the DHL Stormers and the Hurricanes at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town, on February 25, 2012.  Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Stormers lock Andries Bekker has been ruled out for five weeks and will be replaced by De Kock Steenkamp in the starting line-up to face the Bulls at Loftus on Saturday evening.

Perhaps more worrisome is the fact that his name will now be erased off Bok coach Heyneke Meyer's squad sheet to face England. He will make his announcement after the big Super Rugby derby in Pretoria.

Bekker's lower back strain gives the young Quin Roux a chance on the bench. If he comes on, he could be reunited with his Under-20 lock partner Eben Etzebeth, which will be an exciting display of the future of Stormers and indeed South African rugby.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has also picked Deon Carstens at prop, with Steven Kitshoff on national duty with the Under-20s.

Tiaan Liebenberg continues at hooker, while the young Frans Malherbe rotates with the benched Brok Harris.

Deon Fourie takes up his place on the bench this week, thanks to the return of Siya Kolisi, who was sorely missed in the defeat to the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

That may also settle Rynhardt Elstadt and Jebb Sinclair, as they were outplayed by Willem Alberts and Keegan Daniel last week.

Kolisi's selection also pits him against CJ Stander, who cracked a nod in Heyneke's last training squad ahead of the Stormers youngster.

UCT boytjies Don Armand and Nick Fenton-Wells are the reserve flanks.

There are no changes in the backline, which means potential Bok fullback Joe Pietersen is still sidelined with injury.

Without Pietersen's surefootedness and Bekker's grunt, the Stormers may struggle to assert any dominance or control over the game even if Kolisi makes an impact on his return.