SA Rugby will help Hall

2003-04-29 22:06

Cape Town - If Dean Hall needs additional financial assistance to save his rugby career, SA Rugby (Pty) Ltd will help him.

This assurance was given on Tuesday by Butch Watson-Smith, SA Rugby's head of national contracts.

Hall, the powerful Springbok wing from the Lions, is having problems with a serious knee injury, and there are concerns that he may not be able to play again.

According to recent media reports, an expensive operation in Australia is his only hope, but Hall does not have the necessary finances.

Watson-Smith said all Springbok players have medical funds which make provision for injuries.

"We always make sure this is the case. But if the costs are so high that the medical funds can't cover them fully, we will be more than prepared to assist the player. The same applies to Dean."

But Watson-Smith added that SA Rugby is still waiting for a final medical report with recommendations from Hall's knee specialist in Johannesburg. "I spoke to Dr Ismael Jakoet (SA Rugby's medical head) on Tuesday morning, and he has not received the final recommendations."

Medical specialists

"As far as I'm concerned, the stories that Dean has to have an operation in Australia where cartilage will be grown for him in a laboratory are nonsense.

"I'm quite sure we have the necessary medical specialists in South Africa to see to Dean. But if it is so that he can only be helped overseas, we will assist him financially."

Watson-Smith said he hopes to hear from the specialist concerned (whom for professional reasons he declined to name) within the next day or two.

It was learned on Tuesday that Faan Rautenbach's ankle injury is worse than initially believed.

An MRI scan revealed his ankle would have to be immobilised for six weeks.

This means in effect he will not be considered for the Springboks' test series against Scotland in June.

According to Stormers coach Gert Smal, Rautenbach has exactly the same injury as Werner Greeff (Springbok fullback). Greeff will in all likelihood also only be fit when the Three Nations series kicks off in July.

Bok coach Rudolf Straeuli made it clear on Tuesday he would not consider players for the Bok team who are not 100% fit.

Robbie Fleck, acting on medical advice, will not take part in Friday's clash with the Crusaders. He injured a thigh muscle on Monday.