John Dobson to lead Stormers in URC against Munster.

Stormers coach John Dobson. Photo: Supplied.

Stormers’ loosehead crisis deepens: ‘We’re in trouble’

The Stormers have been rocked by a fresh blow to its already limited loosehead prop stocks.

John Dobson to lead Stormers in URC against Munster.

Stormers coach John Dobson. Photo: Supplied.

The Stormers have entered a state of desperation in their search to strengthen their loosehead prop ranks now that five players in that position have suffered injuries.


The 39-year-old Brok Harris started at loosehead prop for the Stormers against Edinburgh on Saturday, but he was replaced by Springbok Lizo Gqoboka, who was brought in by the Stormers earlier this year to plug the injury gap.

But as fate would have it, Gqoboka only lasted a few minutes on the field before going down with what looks to be a long-term ankle injury. This turn of events prompted the golden oldie, Harris, to return to action for the rest of the game.

In a cruel twist of fate, Gqoboka is now the Stormers’ fifth crocked loosehead, with all of Sti Sithole, Ali Vermaak, Leon Lyons and Kwenzo Blose all ready sidelined.

Speaking to the media during the post-match press conference on Saturday, John Dobson said the Stormers need to bulk up in that position expeditiously otherwise they won’t be compliant for their next fixture against Ulster in Cape Town this coming Saturday.

“So, that is Lizo, Sti [Sithole], Ali [Vermaak], Leon Lyons and Kwenzo [Blose] out now,” Dobson said.

“That is now a crisis, to be honest. We are going to have to get somebody in otherwise we won’t be for next week [against Ulster].”


Dobson confirmed that he tried to get former Stormer Schalk Ferreira on loan from the Cheetahs, but it could not happen due to the Bloemfontein side’s development partnership with Ospreys.

“I suppose we could find some Georgian,” Dobson joked before taking on a more serious tone. “We are in trouble and that is the truth. It will be someone in South Africa.

“We can’t borrow from the Cheetahs because they fulfilled their loan quota. We thought we could get Schalk Ferreira, who we wanted because he is an old Stormers player, but they have already fulfilled the loan quota with Ospreys.

“We are going to need somebody in on Monday,” the sombre looking Stormers boss concluded.

With the 39-year-old Harris currently the only loosehead prop available for selection, here is a complete list of all injured loose props at the Stormers.

  • Lizo Gqoboka
  • Sti Sithole
  • Ali Vermaak
  • Leon Lyons
  • Kwenzo Blose
Brok Harris is the only available loosehead prop for the Stormers at the moment. Photo: Bryan Keane/INPHO/Shutterstock/BackpagePix.