Jannie du Plessis has been placed on standby for his injured Springbok brother Bismarck, after the latter suffered a hamstring injury in South Africa’s fortuitous 14-10 win over Scotland at the weekend.
Jan De Koning writes for Rugby 365 that Bismarck du Plessis and prop Gürthro Steenkamp (injured ankle) are both doubtful for South Africa’s final match of the year-end tour – against England at Twickenham on Saturday.
Springbok team doctor, Craig Roberts, will conduct further assessments on the injured players on Sunday and Monday and will provide a full report-back on the squad injury status on Monday.
Apart from the injuries to the hooker, Bismarck du Plessis (hamstring), and prop, Steenkamp (ankle), scrumhalf Fourie du Preez also withdrew from the match 22 last Friday after straining his quadricep muscle in a freak training ground incident.
The Bok management confirmed on Sunday that Sharks prop Jannie du Plessis – one of several players on an official reserve list – has been placed on formal standby should a replacement front row player be required.
The Springboks arrived in London from Edinburgh on Sunday, ahead of the third and final match of their end-of-year tour, against England at Twickenham this coming Saturday.
Du Plessis limped off inside the first 10 minutes of the game at Murrayfield at the weekend, when he damaged his hamstring at a ruck. He tried to play on, but was pulled off after the first scrum, when it became clear he had done some serious damage to his hamstring.
Captain John Smit then moved from tighthead back to hooker.
Brian Mujati replaced Smit at tighthead, but the unit battled in its new form – prompting coach Peter de Villiers to ask for the other Du Plessis to be placed on standby for the England game.
It is almost certain Du Plessis, a World Cup winner and seasoned tighthead, will start in the No.3 jersey if his brother is ruled out.
Smit will then start at hooker and one-time Bok captain Chiliboy Ralepelle will provide cover at hooker on the bench.
Steenkamp, who came off the field towards the end of the game at Murrayfield, twisted his ankle and the Boks also don’t have any adequate loosehead cover.
If Steenkamp and Du Plessis are both forced out, it will mean the Boks will have just four fit front row forwards on tour – Tendai Mtawarira, Ralepelle, Mujati and Smit.
Even if Jannie du Plessis does arrive on time for the game with England, there would still be no specialist cover at loosehead – with Du Plessis likely to provide cover for that position.Tweet