Springbok World Cup winner Deon Fourie suffers potentially season-ending injury

Springbok World Cup winner Deon Fourie suffers potentially season-ending injury

Stormers head coach John Dobson has admitted that flanker Deon Fourie could miss the rest of the season after suffering a serious knee injury against La Rochelle on Saturday.

The Cape Town outfit fell to an agonising 22-21 defeat at the hands of the reigning Champions Cup holders while also suffering a raft of injuries, with the likes of Ben-Jason Dixon, Hacjivah Dayimani, Salmaan Moerat and Leolin Zas all being forced off as well.

Fourie's was especially concerning, however, with Dobson stating that it was "serious", before adding: "It could be the [end of his] season."

And unfortunately, considering that Fourie is already 37 years old, a season-ending injury at this stage of the game could also potentially be a career-ending one.

It's a horrible blow for the Stormers and especially for Fourie, though the veteran can at least

Despite their high attrition rate, the Stormers still gave themselves a shot at claiming victory over La Rochelle and should really still have won the game.

the Stormers led by as many as 16 points before allowing their opponents to hit back with 22 unanswered points as their challenge collapsed. Still, Suleiman Hartzenberg's last-gasp try gave Manie Libbok a kick to win the game.

It was the exact same scenario as the pool stage match against the same opponents back in December. On that occasion, Libbok was successful, but this time the Springbok flyhalf was well wide with his effort. Unfortunately, with a wicked south easter blowing in Cape Town, it was always going to be a tough ask from out wide.

"It was an impossible kick. In those winds, it was impossible," Dobson said.

The Stormers failed to match their efforts from their first season in the Champions Cup when they reached the quarter-finals, but the head coach praised his team's performance.

"What made me really proud, was how they tried to score that try. Damian [Willemse] could've scored in the corner, but tried to come in," he said.

"A lot of teams would have just taken the try. We didn't want to score a maul try, even though our maul looked reasonably promising.

"We were playing the champions, completely disrupted with injuries and we were worrying about where we are going to score. That maturity under that pressure.

"Every other team in the world is mauling it. We would normally maul it and ask Manie to kick it. That sort of composure and maturity was really cool."

Dobson also believes that the Stormers can take plenty of positives after running the two-time champions so close as they focus on regaining the United Rugby Championship title.

"The more we can play together and get these experiences. We've gone toe-to-toe with arguably the best club side in the world, two games in a row. It finished one-one in the series, so we can claim that," he said.

"At the moment the Champions Cup is a bonus. We are maybe a year or two off, just in terms of experience. We are definitely not there yet.

"Next week could have been really tough and it would've compromised the game against Ospreys. To me, this was a bonus. We just wanted it more to show our supporters that we are at the top of club rugby. We aren't far off the top table."

READ MORE: John Dobson hails Stormers' character in narrow Champions Cup defeat