Springboks

Mapoe set for Bok starting role

Lionel Mapoe (Gallo Images)
Lionel Mapoe (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Lionel Mapoe looks set to replace Jesse Kriel in the Springbok midfield for Saturday’s second Test against France in Durban.

This comes after it was confirmed on Monday that Kriel would be ruled out of the second Test with concussion.

Springbok team doctor, Konrad von Hagen, said Kriel will continue with his gradual return to play protocol after taking a blow to the head in last Saturday’s first Test in Pretoria.

The Bok coach said he would pick a team that closely resembles the one which won 37-14 at Loftus Versfeld.

He hinted that Mapoe replacing Kriel may be the only change for Saturday.

“There are many who will feel that this is a good opportunity to bring Frans Steyn back into the starting line-up at 12, with Jan Serfontein moving to 13, but I feel this would mean we end up making two changes in the midfield when we only have to make one,” Coetzee was quoted as saying by the Cape Times on Tuesday.

Coetzee said Serfontein was “outstanding” at inside centre and he wants the Bulls midfielder to continue in that position.

“In terms of outside centre, it makes sense to bring in Lionel Mapoe, who is fully recovered from injury and raring to go,” Coetzee continued.

Meanwhile, centre Damian de Allende returned to Cape Town to continue with his injury rehabilitation, with his place in the squad taken by Cheetahs centre Francois Venter.

Von Hagen confirmed that the he rest of the Bok squad were all in good shape and in the frame for selection for Saturday.

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