Springbok coach Peter de Villiers must decide on Tuesday whether to play two lithe lock forwards against New Zealand in Cape Town on Saturday or whether to have Danie Rossouw in his starting line-up for the Tri-Nations rugby test.
Stephen Nell writes in Die Burger that big Bakkies Botha will miss the rest of the series after injuring a knee ligament against Argentina last weekend.
Andries Bekker is likely to partner Victor Matfield in the second row at Newlands, his home ground when he plays for the Stormers.
Rossouw, who was examined in hospital for an irregular heartbeat last Friday, took no active part in the SA team’s training session on Monday.
However, team manager Andy Marinos said on Monday he had been cleared by a specialist.
De Villiers confirmed that the Blue Bulls lock would be in his squad of 22. He is likely to train flat out on Tuesday.
Centre Jaque Fourie has also been ruled out for the rest of the Tri-Nations series after he fractured his right cheekbone during the 63-9 victory over Argentina. He will undergo surgery this week.
“We hope to have Bakkies fit for the Springbok tour at the end of the year,” Marinos said. “Jaque will be out for six weeks.”
HABANA FIT TO PLAY
Bekker is usually at No 5 in the Stormers lineout but he has the ability to fulfil the traditional role at the front as well.
“No one can argue about his talent,” De Villiers said on Monday. “His lineout work is brilliant. In cleaning out and defence he is among the best in our squad.”
Marinos confirmed that Jongi Nokwe, who had made a fine test debut last week, would not be in the 22 for this week.
Bryan Habana is fit again to take his place on the left wing and versatile Frans Steyn has also been recalled to the squad.
“We’re keeping Jongi with the squad this week and will continue working with him,” Marinos said.
“He remains part of the Tri-Nations squad but he won’t be involved this weekend.
“We will decide after Saturday’s test whether to release him to play Currie Cup rugby for the Cheetahs.”
De Villiers will also announce on Tuesday whether Percy Montgomery will be in the run-on team or whether he will make his 100th test appearance as a replacement.
Conrad Jantjes has been outstanding at fullback but Montgomery will be a popular choice for a test at Newlands, where he started his long first-class career.
Juan Smith also did not train on Monday; apparently for personal reasons. However, his flank partner, Schalk Burger, is fit and ready for action.Tweet