Cape Town - Springbok assistant coach Johann van Graan is
gutted for Pieter-Steph du Toit after the Stormers lock was withdrawn
from the national squad due to a hamstring injury.
Du Toit, 23, was sent for a scan on Monday, which confirmed
the extent of the injury.
He has been ruled out of action for between two and
six weeks, which will see him miss South Africa's three-Test series against Ireland.
“Pieter-Steph is unbelievably unlucky with injuries at the
Springboks. He played his first two Tests at the end of 2013 and then had long
injuries,” Van Graan told reporters in Stellenbosch on Tuesday.
“He showed at the World Cup he will become one of the best
locks in the world. I think he was outstanding in Super Rugby. So it’s a huge
setback for him and for us. He was part of our plans and is still part of our
plans. Luckily it’s not a long-term injury.”
Du Toit’s spot in the Bok squad has been taken by the Lions’
Franco Mostert and Van Graan said they are happy to welcome the Lions enforcer
into the Bok set-up.
“I’m very happy for Franco Mostert who comes in. I think he
deserves it. His form in Super Rugby was unbelievable and I was also privileged
to have coached him earlier in my career at the Bulls. He’s a guy that’s worked
really hard," said Van Graan.
Sharks lock Stephan Lewies, who has one Test cap to his
name, was named as Mostert's replacement in the SA ‘A’ squad to play the England Saxons.