First Springbok casualties revealed
NEWS: South Africa’s first weekend after a return to rugby has claimed a number of high-profile casualties.
World Cup winner Frans Malherbe, Stormers flyer Sergeal Petersen and Sevens star Seabelo Senatla are the casualties from this weekend.
Ruan Dreyer moves from bench to start in the place of Malherbe (toe sprain) in the Gold squad for Saturday’s Springbok ‘trial’ match at Newlands.
Lions prop Carlu Sadie moves onto the bench.
Another Gold team casualty, Petersen, suffered a soft-tissue injury, while doing high-speed training last Friday and will be replaced by Courtnall Skosan.
On the Green team Sevens Bok Seabelo Senatla (hamstring tweak) was injured at the weekend. Malcolm Jaer will start and Mnombo Zwelindaba will be on the bench.
Meanwhile, Bulls and Sevens flyer Kurt-lee Arendse – who was on standby for the Green team – missed the flight to Cape Town and will not be part of Saturday’s outing.
Arendse had impressed enough to earn a call-up, but SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus said they will find out why the young man had missed the flight.
He will be afforded an opportunity at a later stage to stake a claim.
Also sidelined is talented Sharks wing Aphelele Fassi will miss Saturday’s Springbok Showdown and a possible call-up to Jacques Nienaber’s squad due to injury.
Fassi suffered an awkward fall in training last week, hyper-extending his shoulder which necessitated surgery and a three-month spell on the sidelines.
The injuries at the weekend, South African team’s first outing since the COVID-19-enforced lockdown in March, comes in the wake of injuries to several World Cup winners in Europe.
The Springboks have not played Test rugby since winning the World Cup in Japan last November, with captain Siyamthanda Kolisi playing his first game since February 1 – when he suffered a knee injury.
The rash of injuries in Europe are highlighted by the long-term lay-off of starting flyhalf Handre Pollard, who ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament while playing for French Top 14 side Montpellier.
South Africa was dealt a second major injury blow when lock Lodewyk de Jager was ruled out for up to six months with a recurrence of the shoulder injury that forced him out of last year’s World Cup Final.
De Jager, who re-injured the shoulder playing for England’s Sale Sharks, will miss the Rugby Championship in Australia later this year as well as the build-up to the British & Irish Lions series in South Africa, which is scheduled to start next July.
Lock Rudolf Snyman has also been ruled out for the remainder of the year with an ACL injury and fellow Eben Etzebeth is sidelined with a rib problem.
* Meanwhile it was revealed that Erasmus, due to a pre-existing health condition, will continue to work remotely to minimise his risk during the COVID-19 pandemic and will therefore not be with Team Green during the build up to the Springbok Showdown, nor at the match on Saturday.
Erasmus was diagnosed in 2018 with a rare condition that causes inflammation of the blood vessels including in the throat and lungs, which increases vulnerability to the impact of a potential COVID-19 infection.
The condition is managed, but until all risk is eliminated, Erasmus will continue to work remotely.
Teams for Saturday:
Green Team: 15 Gianni Lombard, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: Schalk Erasmus, Thomas du Toit, Luan de Bruin, Teboho Mohoje, Juarno Augustus, Junior Pokomela, Embrose Papier, Manie Libbok, Jeremy Ward, Mnombo Zwelindaba.
Team Commissioner: Rassie Erasmus
Team coach: Mzwandile Stick
Gold Team: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Rosko Specman, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Nizaam Carr, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: Dylan Richardson, Dylan Smith, Carlu Sadie, Jason Jenkins, James Venter, Vincent Tshituka, Jaden Hendrikse, Curwin Bosch, Werner Kok, Manual Rass.
Team Commissioner: Jacques Nienaber
Team Coach: Deon Davids
Young Gun Squads – training with the Boks
Green: Props – Nathan McBeth (Lions), Kudzwai Dube (Bulls). Hooker – Morné Brandon (Lions). Lock JJ van der Mescht (Sharks). Back row: Evan Roos (Sharks), Pepsi Buthelezi (Sharks). Scrumhalf: Bernard van der Linde (Blue Bulls). Centre: Mnombo Zwelindaba (Western Province).
Gold: Props – Kwenso Blose (Western Province), Asenathi Ntlabakanye (Lions). Hooker: Fez Mbatha (Sharks). Lock: Emile van Heerden (Sharks). Back row: Celimpilo Gumede (Sharks), Muller Uys (Blue Bulls). Scrumhalf: Thomas Bursey (Western Province). Flyhalf: Kade Wolhuter (Western Province).