The Vodacom Blue Bulls were given another mixed dose of news when the injury report arrived following their 23-18 loss to DHL Western Province in their Absa Currie Cup clash on Saturday.
While there was good news that both injured flyhalves – Jacques-Louis Potgieter and Tony Jantjies – had recovered from their ailments that forced them to miss the Western Province game, the Bulls were given the news that they will need a new fullback this weekend when they prepare to take on the Xerox Golden Lions at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton faces a race against time to be fit for the autumn internationals after breaking his jaw while playing for Racing Metro.
The 29-year-old British and Irish Lions star was injured in a heavy clash with Craig Burden in Sunday’s French top-flight contest against Toulon.
South African hooker Burden was sin-binned for the challenge.
Western Province Under 21 lock JD Schickerling narrowly escaped paralysis after breaking his neck against the Blue Bulls Under 21′s.
The 19-year-old Junior Springbok broke his neck in the 4th minute of the Absa Under 21 clash at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.
Schickerling was injured just after catching a ball from a kick-off when Bulls lock Irne Herbst’s shoulder collided with Schickerling’s head. Afterwards, the other Bulls lock, Marvin Orie, grabbed the WP player in a headclamp before hurling him to the ground.
Speedster Seabelo Senatla will almost certainly miss Friday night’s home Absa Currie Cup clash with the EP Kings at Newlands, but the DHL Western Province brains-trust will be holding thumbs that his absence from the game won’t be for long.
The Springbok Sevens star will have the ankle that he twisted during his match winning performance for WP against the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Loftus this past weekend assessed on Monday.
He said after the match that the ankle didn’t feel bad, and he was apparently walking comfortably on Sunday, but WP coach Allister Coetzee has listed him as a doubtful starter for Friday night’s game.
All Blacks centre Ma’a Nonu has been passed fit to face Argentina next weekend in the latest round of the Rugby Championship.
Nonu was absent from New Zealand’s 51-20 mauling of Australia two weeks ago at Eden Park.
The Hurricanes midfielder picked up a shoulder injury in the 12-12 draw with the Wallabies the week previously, but his return to full health is important.
Ryan Crotty, Nonu’s replacement in Auckland, has been ruled out for four weeks with a facial fracture, meaning Nonu could come straight back in.
Flyhalf Joshua Stander will earn a first senior start for the Vodacom Blue Bulls in the 2014 Absa Currie Cup when the home team face DHL Western Province at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
The 20-year old former Queens College player was bracketed with Jacques-Louis Potgieter, who failed a fitness test.
Stander has played for the Vodacom Blue Bulls Under-21 side in the Absa Provincial Championship this season and was an unused replacement in the victory against the EP Kings last weekend.
Stander will be one of four changes to the side that won against the Kings.
The flyhalf will come in for Tony Jantjies (concussion), while Piet van Zyl (for Rudy Paige – bench), Callie Visagie (for Bongi Mbonambi – bench)) and Werner Kruger (for Marcel van der Merwe – Springboks) will return to the run-on team.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls have been dealt a massive blow with the news that fullback Jurgen Visser has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
According to reports, Visser injured his foot two weeks ago against Western Province and was allowed to take the weekend off against the Kings to recover.
While the medical assessment on Monday indicated he would be fit and ready to train on Tuesday and rejoin the team, more discomfort has seen the medical team review their diagnosis, and the fullback is set to undergo an operation that will see him out of action for at least the next four months.
Willem Alberts has been ruled out of the Springboks’ Rugby Championship tour to Australia and New Zealand and will be replaced in the 30-man squad by Warren Whiteley.
Alberts missed both Test victories against Argentina because of a hamstring injury and he underwent a fitness test on Thursday afternoon.
Although his hamstring is recovering well, he experienced some nerve irritation in his lower back and was sent for scans.
Jaco Taute will make his first Absa Currie Cup start in DHL Western Province colours, after being named at inside centre for Saturday’s meeting with the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Pretoria (kick-off 17:05 SA Time).
The Brumbies have watered down head coach Stephen Larkham’s comments that hardman Pat McCabe has retired, saying the 26-year-old’s playing future hinges on a meeting with the Wallabies’ doctor.
McCabe fractured his neck in the Wallabies’ 51-20 loss to the All Blacks at Eden Park on Saturday, with Larkham telling ABC radio on Wednesday morning the 24-Test winger had decided to hang up his boots after consulting with a specialist.
Willem Alberts says he’ll be ready to play for the Springboks in their Rugby Championship encounter against Australia in Perth on 6 September.
Loose forward Alberts and lock Victor Matfield were on Monday recalled to the Springbok squad for the trip Down Under. Both missed the home and away Tests against Argentina because of injury.
Matfield suffered a knee injury during a cleaning drill, while Alberts withdrew shortly before the game in Pretoria as he picked up a hamstring tear during the captain’s training run.
The Cell C Sharks look likely to be without outside centre S’bura Sithole when they play their return ABSA Currie Cup match against the Steval Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday night.
Sithole has been battling a rib injury and is in doubt for the match. Heimar Williams will replace him if he is not cleared to play. Otherwise the rest of the Sharks players are fit, with there being a possibility that key lineout forward Stephan Lewies will be added to the mix for a starting place this week.
Eastern Province Kings captain Luke Watson has been ruled out of action for at least four weeks with concussion.
Watson, who has played little rugby in the last year due to injuries, suffered a head knock in the 25th minute of the Kings’ 30-25 loss to the Blue Bulls in Pretoria last Saturday.
Having recovered from a foot injury to lead the EP Kings in their opening Currie Cup match against WP, Watson also missed their second outing against the Golden Lions with flu.
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.
New Zealand centre Ryan Crotty has been ruled out for four weeks after fracturing a facial bone during the weekend’s win over the Wallabies.
The Crusaders back, who enjoyed an impressive first start on the international scene in the 51-20 triumph, suffered a heavy impact in Auckland.
Steve Hansen must now decide whether Malakai Fekitoa should don twelve against Argentina if Ma’a Nonu does not recover by September 6.
Meanwhile, Cory Jane (knee), Beauden Barrett (ankle) and Aaron Cruden (pectoral) are all expected to recover in time for the Napier fixture.
Xerox Golden Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has been forced to withdraw flyhalf Jaco van der Walt from his side to face DHL Western Province on Saturday, due to injury.
Van der Walt sustained a knee injury during last weekend’s clash with the EP Kings at Ellis Park. The 20-year-old has been unable to recover in time for Saturday’s match but it is hoped that he will return to action next week.
The Cheetahs have paid the price for a bruising win against the Griquas on Saturday with Luan de Bruin, Elgar Watts and Johannes “Boom” Prinsloo looking set to miss their clash against the Sharks.
The Free State Stadium turned into a minor battlefield on Saturday with medical teams having to stretcher players off on more than one occasion.
The All Blacks were left feeling “hollow” and “gutted” after their record-equalling test win streak came to a limp end on Saturday night at the Olympic stadium.
To that they might have added relieved at escaping with a draw they scarcely deserved.
Truth be told, the All Blacks were fortunate indeed to slip out of Sydney with a 12-12 stalemate that was flattering to them, after being outplayed in the second half by a Wallabies outfit who just weren’t good enough to close out a victory that was theirs for the taking.
DHL Western Province has been rocked by the loss of hooker Scarra Ntubeni ahead of their first home Absa Currie Cup match of the season against the Vodacom Blue Bulls on Saturday.
Ntubeni was set to replace Tiaan Liebenberg, who is out with a back injury, in the team that beat the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth last week. However, according to coach Allister Coetzee, Ntubeni injured a calf in training and has been forced to withdraw from the team at the 11th hour.
“Unfortunately Scarra picked up a calf injury at training on Tuesday and it has subsequently been confirmed that he will be out for a minimum of 14 days,” said Coetzee.
The Lions have been dealt a huge blow with Springbok flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff ruled out of the entire Currie Cup season with a fractured arm.
The Lions, against all injury odds, put on the performance of the opening round when they defeated the Bulls 41-13 in Johannesburg on Saturday.
However, coach Johan Ackermann will have more injury headaches other than Boshoff who is due to undergo surgery on Monday and is expected to be out for 12 weeks.
Both Anthony Volmink (shoulder) and Lloyd Greeff (knee) are also expected to be out of action for the remainder of the Currie Cup tournament.
Blue Bulls loose forward Jacques du Plessis has recovered from his broken jaw and will be available for selection for the remainder of the Currie Cup.
Du Plessis trained on Monday, as a small numbers of players sat out with minor ailments.
Sampie Mastriet (hip contusion) and JJ Engelbrecht (rib contusion) will again train on Tuesday, but prop Dean Greyling will have to pass a fitness test on Thursday is he is to play against Western Province on Saturday in Cape Town.
The Golden Lions’ comprehensive 41-13 defeat of the Blue Bulls at Ellis Park on Saturday could prove costly after star flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff left the field with an arm injury.
“We are a bit concerned but we don’t want to jump to conclusions before he’s had his scans,” Lions coach Johan Ackermann said after the match.
“Jaco van der Walt (replacement) is a talented player but obviously Marnitz is also a match winner and it will be a big loss if he is out.”
Prop Paddy Ryan and uncapped winger Tom English have been added to the Wallabies Rugby Championship squad, with hamstring injuries set to rule out Laurie Weeks and Joe Tomane for the first two matches against New Zealand.
Both injuries are considered relatively minor, with Weeks and Tomane each expected to be out for two to three weeks.
However, that would be long enough to rule them out of the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup games against New Zealand in Sydney next Saturday and in Auckland the following weekend.
Winger Juan Imhoff has injured his foot and will miss Argentina’s first two Rugby Championship matches against South Africa, the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) said on Tuesday.
The Racing Metro player fractured the second metatarsal of his right foot during the Pumas’ warm-up game against French Club Grenoble on Saturday.
Colin Slade has been called into the All Blacks as injury cover for Dan Carter.
Carter fractured the fibula bone in his right leg during last weekend’s Super Rugby final loss to the Waratahs in Sydney and would be sidelined for one month. He would miss at least the first two Bledisloe Cup tests.
The Lions have suffered key injury blows ahead of their opening Currie Cup clash against the Blue Bulls at Ellis Park this weekend.
According to reports, promising front ranker Julian Redelinghuys has injured his calf muscle and could be sidelined for up to six weeks.
To make matters worse, wings Anthony Volmink and Courtnall Skosan and scrumhalf Michael Bondesio were also injured in training last week.
Victor Matfield is suffering from a small tear in a cartilage after being sent for scans on Tuesday morning after feeling some discomfort in his knee at training on Monday.
He was seen by an orthopaedic specialist in Pretoria and will be unavailable for the Test against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday 16 August.
Coenie and Caylib Oosthuizen will not be available for the Cheetahs’ first Currie Cup match against the Pumas on Saturday in Nelspruit.
More scrum worries come in the form of Johannes Roux, who injured his arm against the EP Kings in a a warm match last Friday – he sat out of training on Monday.
It is hoped that Roux will be fit to play on Saturday, with the Free Staters looking thin in the front row.
With both Oosthuizens out and Trevor Nyakane with the Springboks, coach Rory Duncan looks set to blood some youngsters.
The Cell C Sharks will start the defence of the Absa Currie Cup title they won last year feeling the effects of having gone further than all the other teams in the recently completed Vodacom Super Rugby season.
Apart from the fact that they’ve lost more players to the Springboks than most, plus a few players have headed overseas, the Sharks arrived back in Durban after their Super Rugby semifinal loss to the Crusaders with injuries in areas they can ill afford it.
Both locks, Stephan Lewies and Etienne Oosthuizen, have injuries that make them doubtful starters for Saturday’s domestic competition opener against Griquas in Kimberley. Assistant coach Sean Everitt has given the pair’s chances of playing as 50 / 50, with the problem being that there isn’t too much available back-up now that the strong and abrasive Anton Bresler has headed overseas.
All Black flyhalf Dan Carter will be sidelined for at least half of New Zealand’s Rugby Championship campaign after cracking a fibula in last weekend’s Super Rugby Final.
Carter left the field during the Crusaders’ 32-33 loss to the Waratahs in Sydney after an injury to his lower leg, which the franchise said was a hairline crack to the bone which would need at least four weeks to heal.
“A scan has revealed a small crack in his upper fibula. The size of the crack meant it was not originally picked up by an X-ray and required a scan to locate it,” the Crusaders said.
Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie will be sweating over the availability of Waratahs hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau.
The burly, all-action No 2 is the major casualty of the Tahs’ historic Super Rugby crown.
Polota-Nau limped off just after half-time in the Waratahs’ tense 33-32 win over the Crusaders in the Super Rugby Final in Sydney at the weekend.
Tahs coach Michael Cheika suspected the hooker had a medial ligament tear, which could rule him out of the Bledisloe Cup / Rugby Championship opener in a fortnight.
Tony Woodcock could be forgiven for feeling undervalued.
Only in his absence is his importance to the All Blacks genuinely appreciated.
Even in the modern game, loose-head props are as influential as prominent openside flankers or quality first five-eighths.
Recent changes to the scrum laws place immense forces on the No.1′s shoulders. Anyone in this role with poor technique or lack of strength is now, more than ever, brutally exposed.
Over the past 12 years, during 110 tests, Woodcock has been that cornerstone; the rock of the All Blacks’ scrum.
He has played just five games in two seasons, but the ACT Brumbies are keen to start negotiations with injured Wallabies captain David Pocock to keep him in Canberra beyond next year’s World Cup.
The Brumbies are already planning for the future just days after being bundled out of Super Rugby title contention by the Waratahs.
Coach Stephen Larkham revealed his intent to start negotiations with Pocock, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander and Pat McCabe, whose contracts expire at the end of next season.
Larkham also hopes to have his back-room staff finalised in the next month, including appointing another assistant coach with breakdown expertise to replace director of rugby Laurie Fisher and a team manager.
Winger Henry Speight will be sidelined for a month by a hamstring injury and has been replaced in the Wallabies squad for the Rugby Championship by Peter Betham.
Fijian-born Speight was included in the squad last week despite not becoming eligible to play for Australia on residency grounds until 11 September, halfway through the tournament.
The tackle-busting winger sustained the injury in the second half of the Brumbies’ Super Rugby semifinal defeat to the Waratahs last Saturday.
Injured All Blacks centre Conrad Smith will make his return to the field after recovering from a broken thumb in a rare outing for his provincial side Wellington on Friday.
The 32-year-old injured the thumb during last month’s Test series against England and missed the third match, with rookie Malakai Fekitoa making his first start at centre in the 36-13 victory.
Smith was named in Steve Hansen’s All Blacks squad for the Rugby Championship on Monday, indicating he would be available for the first clash against Australia in Sydney on 16 August.