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Frans Malherbe

Frans Malherbe

Frans Malherbe in action for the Boks against Argentina

Frans Malherbe will miss the rest of the Rugby Championship after sustaining a serious injury to his right ankle in Salta.

Malberbe helped to stabilise the Bok scrum when he replaced Jannie du Plessis in the 46th minute, but was forced to leave the field in the 79th.

The tighthead prop will consult with a specialist in Cape Town upon his return to South Africa, when a call on further treatment and his replacement will be made.

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Craig Roberts

Dr Craig Roberts

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has been given a massive boost with the news that he should be able to pick as close to his strongest side for this weekend’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship opener against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld.

Team doctor Craig Roberts cleared props Frans Malherbe, Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira and lock Eben Etzebeth for action and crucially also gave captain Jean de Villiers the all-clear to play this weekend after spending the last few months on the sidelines with injury.

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Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth

Frans Malherbe

Frans Malherbe

Two members of the Springboks’ Castle Lager Rugby Championship squad, Eben Etzebeth and Frans Malherbe, have been released to play in the opening round of the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division for DHL Western Province on Friday evening.

Both players are returning from long-term injuries and will be allowed some game time for WP to ease them back into the game.

Etzebeth’s last game was in November 2013, for the Springboks against France in Paris, where he picked up a foot injury. Malherbe has been out for more than three months with concussion.

“Following medical assessments and consultation between our medical team and those of the various provinces, it was decided to release Eben and Frans for this weekend,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

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Francois Steyn

Francois Steyn

South AfricaCell C Sharks backline star Frans Steyn is unlikely to feature for the Springboks in the June Internationals.

Steyn was one of 10 players who took no or little part in the field sessions at the Springbok training camp in Durban, which concluded on Wednesday.

Steyn has been suffering from a chronic knee dysfunction which has been managed by Sharks and upon a request from his franchise, the load on his knee was limited by keeping him out of training.

While the severity of the injury will only be confirmed later in the week, Steyn is expected to miss the June internationals. It is also possible that Steyn could miss the latter stages of Super Rugby, which would be a body blow to the Sharks.

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Frans Malherbe

Frans Malherbe

DHL StormersSpringbok tighthead prop Frans Malherbe is unlikely to make his return to the DHL Stormers team for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby derby against the Toyota Cheetahs at Newlands.

While Jean de Villiers will definitely be back to lead the team and Schalk Burger and Sailosi Tagicakibau were both training on Monday, coach Allister Coetzee has confirmed that Malherbe was still showing symptoms of concussion the last time he was tested and will sit out the recommended full three weeks for concussion.

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DHL StormersThe DHL Stormers side has suffered some injuries whilst on tour, with Scarra Ntubeni and Patrick Cilliers sent back to South Africa.

As a result, the Stormers are looking for suitable replacements to join them on tour.

In addition they have tried to obtain the services of Griquas hooker on loan, Martin Bezuidenhot, which have apparently been unuccessful.

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StormersIn the first week of discussion of Super Rugby squad contenders for 2014 (23 to 29 December), we will discuss 2 positions in seperate Articles (Props & Hookers) and also seperate the Articles of the 5 SA Super Rugby participating franchises.

That means 10 Super Rugby Articles every week from now on.

The basic idea is to discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for PROPS in the DHL Stormers 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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South AfricaFollowing the game between Scotland and the South African Springboks, there has been some movements amongst the Springbok player corps.

Fourie du Preez is on his way back to Japan and won’t be available for the France game, in his place Jano Vermaak has been recalled to the Springbok side, from France itself, where he has been in great form.

Injured Frans Malherbe will be replaced by Frik Kirsten who has been called up by Heyneke Meyer.

Francois Louw, who left the field on a stretcher in the Scotland clash with an apparent neck injury looks to be OK for the coming weekend.

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South AfricaExperienced backline stars JP Pietersen and Jaque Fourie are back in the Springbok team for Saturday’s Castle Lager Outgoing Tour opener against Wales in Cardiff, while Frans Malherbe will make his Test debut at the Millennium Stadium.

In naming his side for Saturday’s Test against the current Six Nations champions, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has decided to hand Fourie his first Test for South Africa since the Rugby World Cup in 2011, while a combination of injury and non-availability means Pietersen is back for his first taste of international rugby yet this season.

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South AfricaSiyabonga “Scarra” Ntubeni is one of four uncapped players who will join three stalwarts of the Rugby World Cup winning squad of 2007, JP Pietersen, Jaque Fourie and Bakkies Botha, in 32-man Springbok squad for the forthcoming Castle Lager Outgoing Tour to Wales, Scotland and France.

It will be Botha and Fourie’s first involvement with the Springboks since the previous Rugby World Cup, in 2011 in New Zealand, while Pietersen is back in the squad for the first time this year.

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Pat CilliersAndries BekkerFrans MalherbeBeing officially out of the Vodacom Super Rugby race has not exempted the DHL Stormers from further injuries, with several players on the doubtful list for a clash against the Reds at Newlands on Saturday that is of academic interest only to South African fans.

Of course former Springbok coach Jake White and his Brumbies, and the Waratahs that beat them this past weekend, may have different ideas about the irrelevance of the game.

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