Pietersen to come in for Lambie?

2012-06-19 00:00

STORMERS fullback Joe Pietersen, who has enjoyed an excellent run in Super Rugby, has joined the Springbok squad and could make his international debut in the third and final Test against England in Port Elizabeth on Saturday evening.

With the Sharks’ Pat Lambie (ankle) almost certain to be ruled out Pietersen could leapfrog the smaller Gio Aplon into the starting line-up.

Pietersen, who has been medically cleared following a back injury, joined the squad yesterday and was called up following injuries to fullbacks Zane Kirchner and Lambie.

Centre Frans Steyn — who is getting married on Saturday — is unavailable and Wynand Olivier, in spite of making little impact as a replacement in the first two Tests, seems certain to replace him.

“Joe has always been part of our plans and also attended our final planning camp in Durban,” Boks coach Heyneke Meyer said yesterday.

“We always knew Frans would not be available for this Test and I’m sure Joe will slot in easily.”

Lambie and Willem Alberts (knee ligaments) both underwent scans in Port Elizabeth yesterday and a final decision on them will be made when the team is named tomorrow.

“We won’t call up a replacement for Willem as we have enough cover amongst the loose forwards,” added Meyer.

Lock Juandré Kruger, who left Ellis Park on a stretcher, has been cleared to play while one of the Keegan Daniel, Ryan Kankowski (Sharks) or Jacques Potgieter (Bulls) will start on the flank if Alberts is ruled out.

Meanwhile, England have lost Chris Robshaw (cracked thumb) and scrumhalf Ben Youngs for Saturday’s Test. Hooker Dylan Hartley will take over the captaincy for the match.

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