Junior Boks call on reinforcements
Blue Bulls Under-21 hooker Arno van Wyk has joined the Junior Springboks in Auckland after a knee injury forced Malcolm Marx out of the IRB Junior World Championship.
Marx might be out of action for up to six weeks after he sustained the injury during a training session earlier in the week. The burly Johannesburg-based hooker became the second Junior Bok to be rule out of the competition after centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg returned home with an ankle injury.
Jean Luc du Preez, who received a nasty blow to the head against New Zealand Under-20 on Friday, was meanwhile released from hospital during the early hours of Saturday morning.
The flank was carried off on a stretcher after receiving medical attention on the field. He was taken to a nearby hospital for examination and the scans revealed no damage. Du Preez will now follow the IRB's Graduated Return to Play Protocol (GRTP).
There were more encouraging news for team coach, Dawie Theron, following a spate of injuries the past week or so. Centre Andre Esterhuizen and flank Jacques Vermeulen should return to training on Sunday after missing the New Zealand clash through injury.
Esterhuizen has completed his GRTP rehabilitation after leaving the field against Scotland following a bump to the head. Vermeulen hurt his ankle in the same match and also missed the NZ encounter.
Theron said his team will prepare thoroughly for their final group match.
"The New Zealand match is now behind us and we must plan carefully for Samoa, who will no doubt be a huge threat in Pukekohe. Andre and Jacques will come into the selection picture, so I am glad we now have a few more options to choose from," he said.
South Africa, defending champs England and France are all unbeaten after two matches. Following the final pool fixtures, the three pool winners and the best placed second team will contest the semifinals.