Injury concern for Boks

2012-11-20 00:00

THE Springboks could be without their experienced and in-form wing JP Pietersen for Saturday’s Test against England at Twickenham.

Springbok team-doctor, Craig Roberts said yesterday that Pietersen had suffered a groin strain during the weekend international against Scotland at Murrayfield.

“JP won’t train today [yesterday],” said Roberts. “We will assess him during the week, but obviously a groin injury is problematic for a wing.

“It is difficult to say now what his chances of playing against England are. We want to get him doing some straight line running, and then take it from there.”

Pietersen, along with the other outside backs, have hardly been given a chance of attack on tour, but his strength on defence and his ability to drive opponents back in the tackle would be missed against an England match.

Coach Heyneke Meyer has a number of wings in the squad with the Sharks’ Lwazi Mvovo the obvious replacement.

“Mvovo has played a few Test matches for us now and we also have Raymond Rhule, although he is mainly coming through as a young player learning on this tour and not necessarily someone I would be looking to start against England at this stage,” said Meyer yesterday.

Meyer said that Jaco Taute, who is usually a fullback but has played at centre for the Springboks, could be considered.

“Jaco is definitely an option for us on the right wing, particularly as his kicking game could come in useful against a team like England. But it would be a very brave call as he has not played there this year,” said Meyer.

The Springboks have no other injury concerns, said Roberts, with both prop Jannie du Plessis and captain Jean de Villiers, who has been suffering from flu, cleared to play.

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