Vodacom Bulls loose forward Arno Botha will return to training next week after recovering well from a pectoral muscle tear, but flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter could be on the side-lines for another week.
According to Vodacom Bulls team doctor Org Strauss, Botha will train next Monday and Potgieter, who picked up a hamstring injury last week, will be assessed then. Potgieter was a late withdrawal from the Bulls team that won against the Cell C Sharks on the weekend and could be out of action for 2 weeks.
No one picked up any injuries in that win, although Francois Hougaard, Deon Stegmann and Lappies Labuschagne only trained on Tuesday, due to light niggles.
Robbie Fruean’s Super Rugby campaign is almost certainly over folliwing surgery on Monday to have a steel plate inserted in his fractured arm after injuring it in his side’s loss to the Chiefs last weekend.
The timeframe for recovery from this type of injury is usually around 4 – 5 months, which would mean an early July return in a best-case scenario.
Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder said the entire team was feeling for Robbie and sending him their best wishes for a speedy recovery.
France have been hit by an injury crisis with scrumhalf Morgan Parra and backs Wesley Fofana and Remi Lamerat ruled out Monday for the rest of the Six Nations campaign.
Parra will miss the rest of the Six Nations after being ruled out for at least 10 weeks with a knee injury.
Parra, who plays for Clermont in the Top 14, suffered a tear to the posterior ligament in his right knee during France’s 13 / 20 defeat to Wales at the Stade de France on Saturday.
The 26-year-old’s knee will be immobilised for 4 weeks and according to a Clermont statement: “his return to competition won’t be possible before 10 weeks”.
Wales have recalled wing George North in place of Alex Cuthbert for the Six Nations match against France.
North missed the 26 / 23 win over Scotland on 15 February after suffering concussion in the opening defeat by England.
Lock Luke Charteris, prop Samson Lee and hooker Scott Baldwin were also named in the team for the game in Paris on Saturday as coach Warren Gatland made 4 changes.
Charteris replaced Jake Ball who started in the win over Scotland at Murrayfield.
England fullback Mike Brown is unlikely to return to action in time for the crucial Six Nations clash against Ireland following a setback in his recovery from concussion.
The 29-year-old felt a recurrence of his symptoms on Friday after being knocked unconscious in the 47 / 17 victory over Italy and having completed a weekend of rest has restarted the return to play protocols.
The earliest the Harlequins star will be able to resume contact training is Friday, the day head coach Stuart Lancaster announces his starting line-up for Sunday’s showdown between the Championship’s only remaining unbeaten teams in Dublin.
It leaves Brown – who had an outstanding tournament last year scoring 4 tries – with a race against time to prove his fitness knowing any further flare-up in symptoms will force him to start the protocols again and rule him out of contention.
Head coach Vern Cotter today (Monday) added 5 capped internationalists to Scotland’s RBS 6 Nations squad, 5 days out from the Round 3 Test against Italy this Saturday at BT Murrayfield (28 February, kick-off 14:30 GMT, 16:30 SA Time).
Scrum-half Chris Cusiter and prop Moray Low have been called up from English Premiership clubs Sale Sharks and Exeter Chiefs, along with Glasgow Warriors duo Adam Ashe (No 8) and Alex Allan (prop), and Edinburgh No 8 David Denton.
Cusiter (knee) and Ashe (neck) were absent from Cotter’s initial squad selection due to injury, but have recovered to earn the recall, while Denton has recovered from the calf tear sustained in the national team’s pre-Championship camp in Glasgow last month.
Cheetahs lock Lood de Jager will be sidelined for at least 3 months after undergoing an operation to repair injured elbow ligaments.
De Jager left the field in the 1st half of the Cheetahs’ 35 / 29 Super Rugby win against the Sharks at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban last Saturday.
It was feared that he had broken his elbow, but X-rays revealed only ligament damage.
But the Springbok was still forced to go under the knife on Tuesday.
Crusaders pivot Dan Carter is set to miss the Christchurch-based team’s clash against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday.
Carter hurt his leg in his side’s 20 / 10 loss to the Melbourne Rebels last weekend and although Crusaders assistant coach Aaron Mauger believes the injury isn’t serious, he said it’s unlikely that the All Blacks flyhalf would be considered to play this weekend.
That means that Colin Slade is expected to start in the No 10 jeresey.
Castres scrumhalf Rory Kockott has been ruled out of Saturday’s crucial Top 14 game with Oyonnax, after suffering a quadriceps injury in France’s Six Nations defeat against Ireland.
The injury update came via the club’s scrum coach and recently appointed consultant Maurico Reggiardo.
The 28-year-old South Africa-born player – who became eligible to play for the French last year – may not be fit enough either to be named in the Six Nations squad for the game with Wales on Saturday week.
The Sharks suffered a major injury scare on Saturday when Tendai Mtawarira left the field in pain, with the early diagnosis indicating a severe injury.
However, after undergoing scans on Monday, a calf tear was downgraded to a calf strain and although he will not be considered for selection for a few weeks, this does not constitute a long term injury.
“Losing an international is a big loss to any team, obviously we aren’t happy about losing Tendai, but there’s nothing we can do, we have to move on,” said assistant coach Sean Everitt.
Details on Dan Carter’s leg injury are still fuzzy heading towards the Crusaders match against the Highlanders on Saturday.
The official line signalled some improvement when he was assessed by the medical staff and then involved in the squad’s light workout on Monday at their Christchurch headquarters.
During the Crusaders’ opening Super Rugby loss to the Rebels, Carter took a knock to his lower right leg which he then aggravated when he made a hasty clearing kick from his in-goal area.
The limping flyhalf stayed on for a further 15 minutes hoping the discomfort from his “dead leg” would ease. He had to be subbed and when he fronted for interviews later, Carter was optimistic there was no significant issue.
The Stormers have no major injury concerns in their camp this week, as they get set to host the Blues at Newlands on Saturday (17:05 SA Time).
The men from the Cape opened their 2015 Super Rugby campaign with a memorable 29 / 17 win over the Bulls in Pretoria and they could be boosted this week by the return of forwards Frans Malherbe and Siya Kolisi and wing Kobus van Wyk.
The trio missed the trip to Pretoria, but more will be known about their participation in Round 2 when the team is announced on Thursday, just before lunch-time.
The Toyota Cheetahs were dealt a big blow when it was learnt that Springbok lock Lood de Jager will be out of action for between 6 and 8 weeks with an elbow injury.
De Jager was forced off the field in the Cheetahs win over the Cell C Sharks early on in Durban on Saturday and while the good news is that there isn’t a bone fracture, the injury will mean he will miss close to 2 months of Vodacom Super Rugby action.
The injury has been tempered by the fact the Cheetahs have a bye this week, with all players being given most of the week off until they reassemble on Thursday to start preparing for next weekend’s game against the Blues in Bloemfontein.
We are just 1 week into the Super Rugby season and there is already a lengthy list of Springboks sidelined by injury.
With captain Jean de Villiers a non-starter thanks to a knee injury which has put a question mark over his availability for the World Cup, he has been joined by Eben Etzebeth, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira, Lodewyk de Jager amd Julian Redelinghuys.
Etzebeth hurt his chest in a warm-up game against the Cheetahs at Newlands, and is only expected back in the 3rd round – the 3rd consecutive year he has missed the start of the competition.
The Reds paid a dear price for their heavy (3 / 47) loss to the Brumbies in a Super Rugby Round 1 match in Canberra at the weekend.
They will be without fullback Jamie-Jerry Taulagi and flyhalf Duncan Paia’aua for this week’s encounter the high-riding Western Force in Brisbane.
Taulagi suffered a Grade 2 MCL strain and will be sidelined for 6 to 8 weeks.
David Pocock will not be available for selection this Friday after receiving a grade-one syndesmosis to his ankle during Friday’s win over the Reds in Canberra.
Pocock did not train with the main squad on Monday. He said it was now a matter of getting his ankle right for a quick return to the field.
“Obviously it’s a disappointing outcome and not what I wanted, having spent a long time out. But it’s treatable and I know I’m in good hands here with the Brumbies medical team,” Pocock said.
Wallabies prop Pek Cowan has been cleared of serious injury after being carried off the pitch in the wake of a scrum collapse in the Super Rugby match between Western Force and the Waratahs on Sunday.
It looked like being a miserable start to the new season for the versatile 10-cap front row forward when he received lengthy treatment on the pitch before being carted off in a neck brace.
Irish No 8 Jamie Heaslip has 3 fractured vertebrae and will miss at least 4 weeks including the potential Grand Slam decider between Six Nations champions Ireland and England in a fortnight it was announced by the IRFU on Monday.
The 31-year-old British and Irish Lions star suffered the injury after being kneed in the back by France lock Pascal Pape in Ireland’s 18 / 11 victory over the French on Saturday.
“Scans have revealed fractures of the transverse process of 3 vertebrae in Jamie’s back,” read a statement from the Irish Rugby Football Union.
All Blacks flyhalf Daniel Carter’s final Super Rugby season began with a rocky start as the 32-year-old suffered another leg injury in the Crusaders’ surprise 20 / 10 loss to the Melbourne Rebels on Friday.
Carter, who has also already said he will leave New Zealand rugby after the conclusion of this year’s World Cup to take up a three-year contract with France’s Racing Metro, allayed any early jitters about the All Blacks’ world title defence.
“I got a whack in the side of the leg, similar to a spot that I got it last year. It was just a knee and gave me a bit of a dead leg,” Carter told reporters. “I’m sure it’s nothing serious.”
DHL Stormers are still waiting on the fitness of wing Kobus van Wyk ahead of Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby derby against the Bulls at Loftus and the result of his fitness test on Thursday could have a big impact on the Cape team’s chances of success.
Van Wyk, who has struggled with a calf strain for nearly 2 weeks and is according to backline coach Robbie Fleck only training under supervision, meanly separate from the rest of the team, is key to the Stormers’ back 3 balance.
The former South African Under 20 centre was a revelation when switched to the wing by the Stormers and WP last season, and he made a big difference to the Stormers’ ability to compete in the aerial battle in 2014. That has long been a Cape team weakness, with too many players short of beef lining up together in the back 3 since the departure of Sireli Naqelevuki a few seasons ago.
Van Wyk made some great takes off cross kicks last year and also knocked on a few in the Currie Cup that had great scoring potential written all over them, and this added a new weapon to the Stormers / WP attacking arsenal.
It is still unsure as to when Springbok Willem Alberts will return from injury as the Sharks prepare to face the Cheetahs in Round One of Super Rugby this weekend.
Alberts, who damaged a hamstring while on duty with the Springboks, has been out of action since before the Rugby Championship in August last year.
The flank went down with the injury right before the Boks first game against Argentina at a soggy Loftus Versfeld, this allowed Warren Whitely to make his debut.
Alberts also missed the next game against in Salta.
Wales will have instant video replays available to their medical staff for the remainder of the Six Nations tournament to avoid a repeat of an incident where one of their players continued playing after losing consciousness on the field.
Wales have come under criticism after winger George North played on following a clash of heads with a teammate in the second half of the 21 / 16 loss to England in Cardiff on Friday. He did not undergo a mandatory test for concussion.
In an interview posted on the Welsh Rugby Union’s website on Monday, the national medical officer, Prav Mathema, said team doctors did not see the incident involving North and that he was lucid when they arrived to treat him.
The Vodacom Bulls will be without Springbok props Dean Greyling and Marcel van der Merwe and World Cup winning winger Akona Ndungane for the opening weekend of the Vodacom Super Rugby competition. The Vodacom Bulls play DHL Stormers on Saturday night, but Ndungane (calf, 1 week), Greyling (foot, 2 weeks) and Van der Merwe (hamstring, 3 weeks) will not be part of the action.
To complicate matters a bit more for Vodacom Bulls coach, Frans Ludeke, winger Travis Ismaiel has been ruled out for selection due to a hamstring strain and prop Hencus van Wyk (foot) will only return to training at the end of the month.
All of Basil Short (pectoral), Jason Jenkins (quad), Trevor Nyakane (contusion), Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg (hamstring), Deon Stegmann (hip) and Jesse Kriel (neck) completed a full training session today.
The Springbok Sevens have called up wing Rosko Specman in place of the injured Justin Geduld for the next leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Las Vegas.
The 3-day USA rugby event kicks off this coming Friday and South Africa are the defending champions.
Geduld suffered a hamstring injury over the weekend at the Wellington Sevens, where the Springbok Sevens claimed 3rd spot after a strong finish in their playoff match against Scotland. Specman (Steval Pumas) has 1 World Series tournament under his belt.
South Africa head the log with 76 points halfway through the 9-tournament World Series and are 7 points clear of New Zealand, who moved into 2nd place. The top 4 sides on the final standings in May will gain automatic entry into the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.
Vodacom Bulls prop Marcel van der Merwe will miss the opening week of the Vodacom Super Rugby season due to a medial knee ligament injury, it was confirmed on Monday.
The injury occurred on Saturday in London, when the Blue Bulls played against English club side Saracens in a warm-up friendly.
Van der Merwe injured his knee and pulled his hamstring in the second half and will be out for 3 to 4 weeks, team doctor Org Strauss confirmed on Monday.
The Springbok prop was the only casualty in the match and Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke should have a fairly fit squad to pick from for their first match, against the DHL Stormers at Loftus Versfeld on 14 February.
Reds prop Greg Holmes will be sidelined for up to 9 weeks, after tearing a ligament in his left thumb while lifting in a lineout drill earlier this week.
Holmes was recovering from a shoulder injury suffered during the National Rugby Championship and was expected to make his return in the Reds pre-season match against the Crusaders, but instead had surgery to repair the ligament on Friday.
Reds head coach Richard Graham was disappointed to lose a veteran of 121 games, but said it would provide some of Queensland’s young props an opportunity to further develop.
Japanese international hooker Shota Horie will not return to the Rebels for the 2015 Super Rugby season.
Horie injured himself playing for his Japanese Top League Club, Panasonic Wild Knights, and will remain in his homeland to continue his rehabilitation ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Rebels’ Head Coach Tony McGahan was disappointed that Horie wouldn’t be returning to Melbourne.
Western Force captain, Matt Hodgson, is expected to miss the first 8 weeks of the 2015 Super Rugby season after suffering a hamstring injury in the team’s 38 / 19 win over the Asia Pacific Dragons in Perth on Saturday.
Hodgson underwent scans over the weekend, confirming a serious hamstring strain that will see him miss a significant portion of the season.
He is expected to return after the Force’s bye in Round 8.
A critical element of Heyneke Meyer’s tight-forward plans for Rugby World Cup 2015, plus his unpredictable backline talisman… already under injury scares.
If you’d told Heyneke Meyer – presumably a long way from the untelevised encounter – before Friday’s Newlands friendly between the Stormers and Cheetahs that two players falling into those categories would pull up injured in it, the ever-animated Springbok head coach might have been excused for having kittens on the spot.
But that is precisely what occurred in the pre-season affair, won 39 / 31 by the hosts in an otherwise productive work-out for both teams, as Eben Etzebeth and Willie le Roux fell foul of the curse.
Oddly, the more alarming of the incidents, on initial viewing, appeared to affect fullback magician, Willie lLe Roux, during the 2nd half – and he had only got on the park off the bench for the start of it.
But with just 7 minutes remaining, the IRB Player of the Year nominee for 2014 collapsed in a writhing heap after being tackled, clutching the area around his left ankle. To watching spectators on the fairly sparsely-populated Railway Stand, it wouldn’t have looked good at all.
The Stormers scored a 39 / 31 win over the Cheetahs in an entertaining Super Rugby pre-season match at Newlands on Friday.
However, the Cape Town franchise will be concerned about injuries emerging from the match, with the real price of victory yet to be determined.
Two of their international locks, Argentinean Manuel Carizza and Springbok Eben Etzebeth, left the field before half-time and didn’t return.
Of the two injuries, Carizza’s looked the more serious.
Kobus van Wyk also picked up a calf injury, which does not look serious but would require a scan.
Dan Carter has dismissed concerns about a calf strain and told the Crusaders coaches he wants to play the Super Rugby pre-season match against the Hurricanes in Eketahuna on Saturday.
Following the frustrations of last year, when he suffered a small fracture in his lower leg in the Super Rugby Final against the Waratahs and failed to reclaim his All Blacks flyhalf spot on the November tour of Chicago and Britain, Carter is eager to quickly get things going in World Cup year.
Injured Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper has backed rookie Duncan Paia’aua to fill in as his replacement over the few first few months of the new season.
Cooper is set to miss the first 3 months of Super Rugby after fracturing his collarbone in a “freak accident” during a training match against the Reds’ Under 20 side.
And although former Wallabies flyhalf James O’Connor is in the Brisbane-based franchise’s squad, 20-year-old Paia’aua is the favourite to take over from Cooper.
The Vodacom Bulls will be without Springbok hooker Bandise Maku for the Vodacom Super Rugby season after he tore his pectoral muscle in Saturday’s opening friendly match against the Toyota Cheetahs in Polokwane.
Maku will have surgery on 3 February and will be ruled out of action for between four and six months, Vodacom Bulls team doctor Org Strauss confirmed on Monday.
The Polokwane clash last year saw a season-ending injury to flanker Arno Botha, but the Springbok this time came through the match with only a tight hamstring. He will be able to train on Tuesday, but will not travel to London where the Bulls take on Saracens this weekend.
Akona Ndungane is another who will miss the London trip due to a calf strain. He will be out of action for two weeks. Dean Greyling suffered an ankle sprain and will be out for two weeks at least, Strauss said.
The Toyota Cheetahs have been dealt their first massive injury blow of the season when news filtered through that former SA Under 20 winger Sergeal Pietersen broke his jaw during Saturday’s pre-season friendly against the Vodacom Bulls in Polokwane.
Pietersen, who transferred to Bloemfontein from the EP Kings at the end of last season, went off the field early after a clash with a defender and was replaced by Clayton Blommetjies.
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske confirmed that it would be a lengthy spell on the sidelines for Pietersen, who is a dynamite finisher.
“It looks like we’ve lost him for between 6 and 8 weeks,” Drotske said.
England flyhalf Owen Farrell will undergo tests after hobbling off with a knee injury during Saracens’ 6 / 18 European Champions Cup defeat at Clermont on Sunday.
Farrell was forced off in the 19th minute, after twisting his left knee in a collision with Clermont flank Julien Bardy.
Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall said the 23-year-old would now undergo further tests to see if he can compete in the Six Nations which gets underway on 6 February.