Injury: 21, Boks: ??

2011-07-07 00:00

THE Springboks will play the away leg of the Tri-Nations with a second string outfit. Yesterday 21 high-profile players were ruled out of the opening two Tests in Australia and New Zealand at the end of the month.

Bruising Sharks flank Jean Deysel is the latest addition to the Springbok training group as team doctor Craig Roberts said that 19 current Springboks had been ruled out of the Tests in Sydney (July 23) and Wellington (July 30).

Most of the senior Springboks, including Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, Schalk Burger, Fourie du Preez, Bryan Habana, the centre pairing of Jean de Villiers and Jaque Fourie, Butch James and overseas selections Frans Steyn and BJ Botha, are among the medically boarded.

Because of the recent injuries to loose forwards Burger, Willem Alberts, Francois Louw and Duane Vermeulen, Deysel has been called up.

The players will all return to their provinces and will be placed on intense rehabilitation programmes following their medical assessments in Cape Town, said Roberts.

He said that a number of players faced a race against time to be fit to take part in the second half of the Tri-Nations (in South Africa next month). No one has been ruled out of contention for selection for the Rugby World Cup, he said.

“Schalk Burger and Duane Vermeulen recently sustained serious injuries and will definitely not be ready to take part in the Tri-Nations but we’re hopeful that others who have had long-term injuries, such as Juan Smith, Heinrich Brüssow and Gurthrö Steenkamp, may be available at some point in the Tri-Nations,” he added.

“There are a number of other players who have been playing through Super Rugby with chronic injuries and need rehabilitation now to avoid the risk of the breaking down with longer term injuries in the near future.”

Andy Marinos, manager of National Teams for SARU, said that the medical team had taken a pragmatic approach to what is an intense international season.

“Some players have had a huge amount of rugby and it shows in the wear and tear on their bodies,” said Marinos. “We’re treating them on an individual basis to make sure they are fully fit to peak at the right times this year.”

Marinos said that the Springbok squad for the Springboks’ opening two Tests of the Tri-Nations would be named on Saturday.

This decision by the medical team was expected with the Springboks selected as Jake White did in 2007. He fielded a watered-down team in the overseas Tri-Nations Tests, and recalled his senior selections for the home internationals ahead of the RWC.

John Smit, who has seen limited action throughout the Super Rugby competition, will lead the touring team down under.

Meanwhile, the Springbok management has moved to correct reports that Jacques Nienaber has been added to the Springbok management team for the Rugby World Cup. The highly successful Stormers defensive coach is assisting the team on a short-term basis. He will shortly return to his duties as part of the Western Province management team for the Currie Cup.

Injured players unavailable for selection for the away leg of the Tri-Nations are:

Duane Vermeulen, BJ Botha, Bakkies Botha, Butch James, Jannie du Plessis and Fourie du Preez (all knee), Schalk Burger (thumb), Victor Matfield (calf and neck), Frans Steyn (ankle and back), Jaque Fourie (groin), Jean de Villiers (groin), Juan Smith (Achilles), Willem Alberts (shoulder), Bismarck du Plessis (shoulder), Andries Bekker (shoulder, groin and ankle), Francois Louw (clavicle), Gurthrö Steenkamp (forearm), Francois Hougaard (ankle), JP Pietersen (back), Tendai Mtawarira (hamstring) and Bryan Habana (shoulder)

Tri Nations fixtures:

Saturday, July 23: Australia vs South Africa, Sydney

Saturday, July 30: New Zealand vs South Africa, Wellington

Saturday, August 6: New Zealand vs Australia, Auckland

Saturday, August 13: South Africa vs Australia, Durban

Saturday, August 20: South Africa vs New Zealand, Port Elizabeth

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