Burger to miss Sharks clash

Stormers flank Schalk Burger has been ruled out of this weekend's match against the Sharks with a neck injury.

Veteran Stormers flanker Schalk Burger will miss the Stormers' trip to the 'Shark Tank'. Picture: Facebook.com

CAPE TOWN - Schalk Burger has failed to recover in time for the Stormers' match against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

Last week, he sustained a neck injury during the match against the Cheetahs.

Burger has not recovered sufficiently to play, with his place in the starting line-up taken by Siya Kolisi.

The only other change for Allister Coetzee's men sees Sailosi Tagicakibau come in for the injured Kobus van Wyk, with Duane Vermeulen assuming the captaincy in the absence of regular skipper Jean de Villiers.

Coetzee says thankfully, Burger's injury is not a long-term one.

"There's been massive progress with Schalk, but it was always going to be a 10-day injury in order to settle the neck spasm. It looks like the progress has been good, but he's definitely not ready for this weekend."

While the Stormers will miss Burger's physicality, Coetzee says they can't afford to face the Sharks with injured players.

"You can't take players with niggles to the 'Shark Tank'. They've got a big pack, one of the most physical packs in the competition, and one that is loaded with Springboks. They've got massive experience, but we're looking forward to the challenge for the physical battle."

Coetzee says he's not certain about Burger's availability for the Springboks' opening test against the World XV at Newlands next week.

"I can't say. He'll probably be assessed next week and there are various tests that they will look at."