The convincing win of the Springboks on Saturday was followed by news on the injury front.
Most notably Francois Steyn, who rolled his left ankle last Monday morning, will have to undergo an operation to clean the ankle up and will be sidelined for 3 months recovering from the surgery.
“Losing Frans is a big blow as he is one of our most experienced players,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. However, it’s better that he gets the ankle sorted out properly as he still has a long rugby career ahead of him and can play many more Tests for South Africa.”
In addition, Coenie Oosthuizen’s “general stiffness” seems to be more than just that, as Dr Craig Roberts, medical doctor of the Springboks has decided to send Coenie for a second opinion to Durban, fearing that Coenie has not recovered fully from the neck operation.
“I’ve not been completely happy with his neck, as he still showed symptoms after having played in the Currie Cup last weekend,” said Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts. “We’re seeking another opinion as we need to make the right decision for his career. Coenie is a young player and potentially he has a long career ahead of him, so long term we need to make the right decisions and can’t put him at risk in any way.”
Jacques Potgieter who sustained a groin injury in the Blue Bulls game Saturday before last and who then pulled up during practise last Monday at the Springboks is also out injured and sent back to recover.
“Jacques could not train last week and we were hoping to get him ready for selection for this week, but he has not responded as well as we had hoped and subsequently it was decided to withdraw him from the squad as he would not be available this weekend.”
The result is that cover for CENTRE and for BLINDSIDE FLANK had to be called up to the Springbok squad as they prepare to meet the All Blacks at the Soccer City complex near Soweto on Saturday. Heyneke Meyer’s choice has fallen on Lionel Mapoe who has been doing sterling work at the Golden Lions in the Currie Cup and also on Arno Botha the exciting Blue Bulls youngster who covers both blindside flank and No 8.
Four other Springbok players were nursing game bruises following Saturday’s Test, with Zane Kirchner, Willem Alberts, Jannie du Plessis and Johan Goosen sitting out of training on Monday.
Zane Kirchner bruised his hip when Adam Ashley-Cooper’s head and shoulder hit him in that fateful crash which saw Adam Ashley-Cooper stretchered off, out stone cold. Johan Goosen’s bruised left heel was rested today as a precautionery measure, seeing as he was still suffering with it during the Test, he should be ready for the weekend though. Jannie du Plessis is nursing a bruised knee and Willem Alberts is nursing a sore hip after the massive tackles he put in on Saturday.
“Seeing that Willem is also not 100% at the moment, we only have three fit loose forwards in the squad and needed someone to provide cover at blindside flank and No 8, which is why Arno is coming to join us. He was part of our Young Guns squad in June as has been in our plans before,” said Meyer.
“Lionel has been in great form lately and apart from providing cover in the midfield, he can also be used on the wing if necessary.”