Wellington - Springbok wing Bryan Habana has been
ruled out of South Africa’s Rugby World Cup match against Fiji because
of a knee injury, while lock Johann Muller is in a race against time
after injuring his hamstring in training, team communications manager
Andy Colquhoun confirmed on Wednesday.
"Bryan sustained a
patellar tendon (knee) injury during last week’s match and will not be
considered for selection," said Colquhoun.
While there should be
no problem finding a suitable replacement for Habana, the real concern
for the defending champions is in the second row where Muller has joined
Victor Matfield (hamstring) and Bakkies Botha (foot) on the list of
Muller could not complete Tuesday’s training
session and played no part in the team’s preparations the following day,
thus further highlighting the crises the Boks are having at lock.
Springbok coach Peter De Villiers had previously said that he will call-up a replacement lock "sooner rather than later".
reason why De Villiers had not yet made the call is because Botha has
been able to practice with the team over the last two days.
On Wednesday the Bulls lock was able to run with the rest of the team.
As a final resort flank Willem Alberts could be asked to cover at lock which would open a place in the team for Francois Louw.
decision on who will replace the injured Jean de Villiers also has to
be made and early indications are that Juan de Jongh could earn his
first World Cup cap on Saturday, that is if team management does not
decide to give Frans Steyn a run at centre where he plays most of his
rugby for French Club Racing Metro.
Butch James is another
contender for the number 12 jersey as that is the position where he
finished last week’s match against Wales.