Boks add firepower

2014-06-24 00:00

PORT ELIZABETH — Two Sharks, livewire lock Stephan Lewies and tighthead prop Lourens Adriaanse, have been called up to strengthen the Boks against Scotland.

Lewies replaces Free State lock Lood de Jager, who looks set to be in the starting 15, on the bench after a knee injury had sidelined Flip van der Merwe for four weeks with Bakkies Botha back at Toulon in France.

The 21-year old De Jager had already impressed as an impact player in the first two Tests and the selectors will have no qualms playing him alongside Victor Matfield.

They are however still wondering who to choose at loosehead prop against Scotland, with Tendai Mtawarira nursing a neck injury and Gurthrö Steenkamp also back to Toulouse.

Team doctor Craig Roberts said Mtawarira was hit on the head during a tackle. “It is difficult to say how long he will be out of action. We will have a better idea after he has been to the specialist.”

Trevor Nyakane could be selected to scrum in the loosehead position, although Heyneke Meyer may rather select Coenie Oosthuizen. He is currently the replacement tighthead prop, but his best position seems to be loosehead.

A question mark also hangs over the availability of flank Willem Alberts, who still has to pass a concussion test, according to Roberts.

Concussion does not go away in a week and it will come as a surprise if Meyer risks Alberts against Scotland, especially while he has loose forwards of the calibre of Marcell Coetzee, Siya Kolisi and Oupa Mohale on the bench.

With Morné Steyn also back in Europe, flyhalves Johan Goosen and Marnitz Boshoff now have a reason to train hard. Goosen had been nursing a knee and Boshoff an ankle and although Junior Bok captain Handré Pollard joined the Boks yesterday, both Goosen or Boshoff should be ahead of him in the queue.

Roberts, however, warned that Goosen must still attend a few training sessions this week before he gets the green light to play. “But we are satisfied with Goosen’s progress,” he said.

With left wing Bryan Habana and flank Francois Louw also among those back in Europe, there are still two places vacant in the starting 15. Lwazi Mvovo could be selected on wing after making a big impression when he was given a chance against the World XV.

The full squad for Saturday’s Test should be announced today.

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