Injured De Villiers may miss Samoa clash

2013-06-18 00:00

SPRINGBOK captain Jean de Villiers, suffering from damaged ribs, could miss Saturday’s Incoming Series final against Samoa at Loftus Versfeld.

De Villiers suffered the injury during the weekend international against Scotland and he faces a fitness test later in the week.

“Jean was able to continue playing, but was in some discomfort after the game,” Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts said last night.

“He could not train today and we will reassess him in the next few days before making a final call on his availability to face Samoa.”

Jan Serfontein, the young Bulls centre who came on as a late replacement on Saturday and scored his first try for South Africa, is an obvious replacement at inside centre.

Bulls flank forward Arno Botha, who will undergo surgery after suffering a serious knee ligament injury, has been ruled out for the rest of the year.

A number of places are nursing bumps and bruises. Number eight Pierre Spies, who had another subdued Test, and prop Jannie du Plessis, both suffered facial cuts while Roberts said that lock Eben Etzebeth complained of “mild discomfort in his AC joint”.

These three players, along with Sharks flank Willem Alberts, did not take part in the full training session in Pretoria yesterday. Alberts could be available for the Test.

“Willem is returning from a side strain and his workload during the early part of the week will be managed, but at this stage he’s looking good for a possible return this weekend,” said Roberts.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said last night that he would not select any player who is not 100% fit.

“We have a very good medical team and will see how Jean and Willem react to treatment this week before making a final call on their availability.”

Meyer said he was expecting a physical contest against Samoa.

“Injuries are part of the game. We already lost four injured players during this series — Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jano Vermaak, Francois Hougaard and Arno.”

The Test kicks off at 5.15 pm with Italy playing Scotland in the playoff for third place in the 2.15 pm curtain-raiser.

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