Bok star Pieter-Steph out of first Test against Wales

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Springbok flank Pieter-Steph du Toit (Getty Images)
Springbok flank Pieter-Steph du Toit (Getty Images)
David Rogers/Getty Images

Pieter-Steph du Toit's much-anticipated international return is on hold once again after he was ruled out of Saturday's first Test between the Springboks and Wales at Loftus Versfeld.

2019's World Rugby Player of the Year had been gradually building a head of steam in Japan with Toyota Verblitz, only to have come into the national camp with a shoulder problem.

Du Toit, who suffered the same injury in last year's series against the British & Irish Lions, can only start contact training from Thursday, too late to render him eligible for selection this weekend.

The Springboks name their team on Tuesday.

"Everyone is available for the Test, except Pieter-Steph, who's still in his rehab phase," Bok assistant Deon Davids said on Monday.

"We'll make the best decisions for the team going forward."

With Duane Vermeulen also not available for the series, the Boks have some tinkering to do in the loose trio.

"Pieter-Steph's class is apparent, he was the best player in the world for a period. He and Duane play important leadership roles.

"But we need to see the glass as half-full. There are exciting youngsters you can give an opportunity to as well as versatile, experienced guys like Franco Mostert.

"Of course we'd have liked the continuity of a Pieter-Steph, but we can now broaden the base."

Various options exist, notably Leicester star Jasper Wiese, the experienced Bulls skipper Marcell Coetzee, Stormers veteran Deon Fourie and Kwagga Smith.

Elrigh Louw and Evan Roos are not expected to be pressed into service immediately. 

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