The Springboks will be without one of their most imposing players for the decisive match against Wales in Cape Town on Saturday.
Assistant coach Deon Davids said on Monday inside center Andre Esterhuizen, who was part of a new Bok squad in last weekend’s 13-12 loss to the Welsh at Bloemfontein, has been ruled out with a broken hand.
Damian de Allende was expected to return to No.12 this week, but Davids speculated that Esterhuizen would be out for up to four weeks.
That could leave the powerful midfielder in a race to be fit for the start of the Rugby League, with the Boks due to host the All Blacks at Nelspruit on August 6.
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Speaking in the build-up to the clash at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, David said defeat to Wales in Bloem – a first win for them in the Republic – would all but guarantee the Boks would return to select their XV The Strongest.
“It’s always horrible to lose with a Springbok jersey. It’s something you don’t want,” he said.
“The team we selected last week was part of the big picture and the plans we have, and I think that was communicated well to everyone within the team.
“We have now seen so much of the 42 players in the squad, under pressure in these circumstances, and it gives us the opportunity to make a selection based on the players’ records and their performances.
“With that in mind, we will select what we think is the best possible team to give us a result next Saturday.”
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