CJ to join Bok squad in France
Cape Town - Tighthead prop CJ van der Linde will join the Springbok squad in France on Wednesday as a replacement for Jannie du Plessis, who has withdrawn from the European tour with a hand injury.
Leinster-based Van der Linde made the last of his 56 Test appearances for South Africa against Australia in a Vodacom Tri-Nations fixture in August 2008.
His most recent appearance for Leinster was in the Irish champions’ 23-6 victory over Cardiff Blues on 31 October, before the break in the European season for the autumn internationals.
Van der Linde made his Test debut as a 22-year-old against Scotland in 2002 and was a member of the World Cup-winning squad of 2007.
“It’s fantastic that we’re able to call on a player with CJ’s experience to join the squad,” said Bok coach Peter de Villiers.
“With such a tight schedule it is also helpful to be able to bring in someone who has been part of the group before, knows the systems and will settle in quickly. CJ is also a specialist tighthead who will provide the type of cover we will need.
“It is unfortunate that we have lost three players so early in the tour but that is part of the game and we have to be able to manage such setbacks,” de Villiers said.
Hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle and prop Gurthrö Steenkamp were also forced home with injuries following the opening match against Leicester on Friday.
Van der Linde will travel to France on Wednesday where the rest of the squad, arriving from Johannesburg and London, will converge in Toulouse. The other two replacements Wian du Preez and Adriaan Strauss will join the squad in Johannesburg on Sunday.