Matfield a doubt for Boks

2015-09-30 11:30
Victor Matfield (Gallo Images)

Newcastle - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer faces a new injury dilemma replacing captain Jean de Villiers for their key World Cup game against Scotland on Saturday.

De Villiers abruptly retired from international rugby after suffering a broken jaw against Samoa last week.

But because prime candidates to take over are among the walking wounded Meyer put back the announcement of his team to play Scotland by several hours until late Wednesday.

Veteran vice-captain and frontrunner Victor Matfield, 38, is struggling with a hamstring strain and must prove his fitness Wednesday. Scrumhalf Fourie du Preez (ribs) is also in doubt.

These and a number of other injuries forced the cancellation of Monday's training and the delay in the team announcement.

Other candidates include Duane Vermeulen, who only returned from a neck injury in the 46-6 rout of Samoa at Villa Park last week.

Flanker Francois Louw, hooker Adriaan Strauss and loose forward Schalk Burger, who captained the Boks against the All Blacks this year, could also get the nod.

There was little indication at Tuesday's practice session as to who will take the leadership. But South Africa must be certain to avoid a repeat of their shock loss when they take on the Scots at Newcastle United's St James Park.

The Springboks are also expected to bring back fiery hooker Bismarck du Plessis to the match day squad.

Meyer will name his team to face Scotland at 18:00 SA time on Wednesday.

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