Bok prop sidelined for series

2012-06-13 00:00

A NECK injury has sidelined Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen for the rest of the Test series against England and the final weeks of the Super Rugby competition.

Oosthuizen, in his Test debut in Durban on Saturday, played a powerful role in the Springboks’ strong second-half showing, but complained about a sore neck after the Test.

Yesterday, following a series of scans, Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts confirmed that the 23-year-old Free Stater was suffering from a bulging disc in his neck. Roberts said the prop would be out of action for between two and three months.

“Coenie needs treatment, rest and rehabilitation and it was decided to withdraw him from the Bok squad for the next two Tests,” Roberts said.

“He is still a young player and has a long career ahead of him and needs to be managed appropriately.”

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer was obviously disappointed to see Oosthuizen leave the squad.

“He has brought a lot of energy to our team and he played a major part in our victory in the first Test, making a big impact when he came on.

“The player’s welfare comes first and we decided that it would be best for Coenie to rather get some proper rest and rehabilitation now.

“Hopefully he’ll be back to full fitness soon. He definitely has a role to play in future,” Meyer said.

Dean Greyling replaced Oosthuizen in the Bok squad yesterday morning and he will remain with the team until the end of the tour.

“Dean brings experience to the squad and, like Coenie, he is also a loosehead who can play tighthead if needed,” said Meyer.

Battered fellow-prop Jannie du Plessis said Engalnd had matched the Boks physically in the first half in Durban. “Both teams were very physical and I think it is massive for this week’s game to stay physical and play good rugby.”

Du Plessis paid tribute to the Boks’ new scrum coach, former French Test prop Pieter de Villiers.

“Pieter has really brought in some new ideas and exercises that have made a massive difference.”

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