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Etzebeth still a chance for Hurricanes game

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019    Getty Images

When the side left South Africa it was expected that Etzebeth, who suffered concussion in the side's last game against the Jaguares, would miss the first game of the Stormers' four-game Australasian tour while he recovered.

However, Stormers' defence coach Norman Laker told supersport.com that Etzebeth had passed his first test in the concussion protocols and was a prospect to play.

"Obviously Eben has other protocols that he needs to pass, but we have an extra day this week because our game against the Jaguares was played on a Friday, so that gives Eben extra time to be ready.

"We are confident he will be fit to play on Saturday," he said.

Etzebeth does have to miss one game on the tour due to the Springbok rest requirements but it was felt coach Robbie Fleck would like to have him available for the Hurricanes game.

The Stormers arrived in Wellington early on Monday morning.

"It was a long travel but the guys are okay considering. We had lots of stuff today [Tuesday] as obviously we missed the usual Monday session because we were in the air. I thought the guys did well considering the three days of travel," Laker said.

The Stormers are expecting the Hurricanes to provide them with their toughest test defensively in the 2019 campaign to date, especially with Hurricanes first five-eighths Beauden Barrett calling the tune for the home team.

Fleck believed, Laker said, that if his forwards reach their potential they could reduce the impact that Barrett could have on the game.

Stormers captain Siya Kolisi said the side would go into the Hurricanes game with confidence.

"We are not going to hold back. We are going flat out to give it our best. We are going to give it everything we can.

"We are going to keep working hard at the things we are good at and try and manage the game at our own pace as well," he said.