The injuries that Jaque Fourie and Bakkies Botha suffered against Argentina have dashed Springbok coach Peter de Villiers’s plans to retain his squad of 22 for this week’s Tri-Nations rugby clash against New Zealand.
Liam Del Carme reports for Beeld that centre Fourie will miss the rest of the series because of a cheekbone injury.
Veteran lock forward Botha has a knee problem and the Blue Bulls’ versatile Danie Rossouw has already been called up, according to information received on Sunday.
De Villiers said after South Africa’s 63-9 victory here on Saturday that, depending on injuries, he would like to retain the same 22 for the Newlands match against the All Blacks.
“We have 22 players here and they all know they will be involved in the next Test,” De Villiers said.
However, when it became clear that two of them would not be available this week, he said, “We have suffered injuries and we will have to put some players on standby.”
It is unthinkable, however, that room would not have been made for flank Schalk Burger and wing Bryan Habana.
The two were not considered for the Mandela Tribute match but De Villiers gave the assurance last week, when the team was announced, that Burger and Habana would be recalled this week.
He even said the two could have played against Argentina but that they were omitted as a preventative measure.
The two will probably take over from Luke Watson and Jongi Nokwe this week.
As a result of the injuries to Fourie and Botha, the coach and the selectors will have to add two players to the squad.
Versatile Frans Steyn, who was not in the squad chosen for the match against Argentina, is likely to return in place of Fourie. Andries Bekker or Rossouw can take Botha’s place in the starting lineup.
Springbok team manager Andy Marinos said at the weekend that information about the seriousness of the injuries would be known on Monday.Tweet