Johannesburg - Springbok team doctor Craig
Roberts on Monday said each of the injured players in the squad will be managed
individually in terms of when they return to full training or playing in a
A squad of 48 players gathered in
Johannesburg on Monday morning. Of these, 15 are suffering from a range of
injuries or require rehabilitation. The latest injury was to Fourie du Preez,
who tore medial collateral ligaments in his knee during a training session with
his Japanese club last week.
The other injured players are Heinrich Brussow
(arm), Schalk Burger (groin), Lood de Jager (elbow), Jean de Villiers (knee),
Pieter-Steph du Toit (knee), Pat Lambie (neck), Lionel Mapoe (knee), Cobus
Reinach (hand), Jan Serfontein (hip and knee), Frans Steyn (pectoral muscle)
and Duane Vermeulen (neck).
Furthermore, Coenie Oosthuizen underwent
surgery on his neck last week and hasn’t joined the squad, Jaque Fourie will
undergo a strict conditioning programme in the coming weeks, Willem Alberts was
withdrawn from Monday’s training session because of an ankle niggle.
Roberts said the injury situation was not
ideal at this stage of the season. He added that Du Preez should be out for
between four and six weeks.
“Every effort will be made to ensure as
many of the injured players get game time before we finalise the squad for the Rugby
World Cup,” said Roberts.
“Obviously we would’ve liked to have a
squad with fully fit players available, but we have to play the hand we are
dealt and will work with all of these players individually over the coming
“Players will be managed individually and
we could send them back to their provinces to get game time, but that will be
done in consultation with the unions and only when necessary.”
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said that it
was great to see the excitement and spirit among the players, despite the
“I’m very excited to get going - it’s been
a long few months since our last match, but we’ve worked incredibly hard behind
the scenes and done an unbelievable amount of research and planning,” said
“It would’ve been great to hit the ground
running with a fit squad, but because of the situation we’re in, we will have
to use our next five matches before the Rugby World Cup to experiment with our
depth and see where we need cover, which could mean players outside the current
squad can still force their way in.
“Managing the injured players will be tough
and I really hope we can give as many of them as possible enough game time so
that they are in peak physical condition for the World Cup.
“Having said that, we realise we’re not the
only team in this situation as injuries are part of the game everywhere. We
still want to win every single game though and this season will provide a
massive challenge yet again, as there is no such thing as an easy game.”