Le Roux looks set to torment Wales again

2014-06-17 00:00

MBOMBELA – Even if he takes it somewhat calmer this week, the chances are good that the hero of last week’s Test match against Wales, Springbok fullback Willie le Roux, will again be a nightmare for the Red Dragons when they meet the Boks this Saturday in the Lowveld.

Le Roux did not take part in yesterday’s first training session at the Mbombela stadium’s B field, as a result of a slightly bruised thigh.

That was also the reason why he was taken off the field after 70 minutes during Saturday’s Test in Durban. That must have been some consolation to the Welsh, who were mesmerised by Le Roux while he was on the field.

Bok team doctor Craig Roberts said at yesterday’s media conference that Le Roux should be available for Saturday’s Test, but that this type of injury calls for a couple of days’ rest to heal.

At the same time the Boks are not going to spend too much time on the training field, although the practice sessions will be of high intensity.

This is as a result of the fact that the Durban Test had been exceptionally high intensity.

Roberts explained that ball was in play for 39 minutes — a longer period than most matches.

“We made more than 130 tackles and Wales more than 200. It is therefore understandable that there [were] a lot of bumps and bruises afterwards,” Roberts explained.

It’s no surprise Le Roux’s bruises were headline news as he held the centre stage on Saturday with his astonishing speed and resilience.

There is real concern however, over the wellbeing of lock Bakkies Botha and reserve flyhalf Johan Goosen.

Both went off during the Durban Test. Botha’s advanced rugby years make his injury a concern, while Goosen has been plagued by them recently.

But the news yesterday was good. Both were taken off the field as a precaution, said Roberts.

“Johan unfortunately received a bump on his knee shortly after he got on the field. Because he undergone a reconstructive operation on that same knee we did not want to take chances and took him off.

“He had a scan today and it looks good, although we will wait until later this week to decide whether he will play.”

If he does not recover in time the table could be set for Lions fly-half Marnitz Boshoff, who grew up in the Lowveld, to make his debut. Ruan Pienaar is another option for the flyhalf berth.

Flip van der Merwe’s availability and Lood de Jager’s impressive introduction to Test rugby mean that Botha would not be needed for the second Test.

At yesterday’s practice during which members of the Pumas rugby team were used as opposition to the Springboks, Jannie du Plessis (prop) and Duane Vermeulen (eighth man) — two of the best forwards in Durban, were also given time off to re-energise.

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