Pieter-Steph du Toit has been ruled out of the Test against France on Saturday due to concussion, reports JON CARDINELLI in Paris.
On Monday, Bok team doctor Konrad von Hagen confirmed that tighthead Coenie Oosthuizen has sustained serious damage to his knee and will play no further part on the current tour of Europe. At this stage, it appears as if the Boks will not call for a front-row replacement.
Du Toit’s injury, however, will result in a call for reinforcements.
The lock-cum-blindside flank took a blow to the head during the latter stages of the recent loss to Ireland, and subsequently failed a concussion test.
‘We will follow the protocol with regards to his return to play,’ said Von Hagen, speaking from the team hotel in Paris. ‘He will not be available for selection this weekend.’
The Boks have sustained significant back-row losses this season. Warren Whiteley, Jean-Luc du Preez and Jaco Kriel are all currently recovering from serious injuries.
On Monday, Allister Coetzee confirmed that loose-forward cover is needed ahead of what should be a bruising encounter with the French. The identity of the incoming player will be confirmed later on Monday afternoon.
Duane Vermeulen is currently in France. The 37-Test loose forward could offer the Boks a powerful ball-carrying and defending option at blindside flank or No 8.
The Bok coach refused to confirm or deny whether Vermeulen was the man lined up to replace Du Toit.
‘I need to secure approval for the player first,’ Coetzee said. ‘After the approval, I will let you guys know.’
Coetzee did say that he was looking for a like-for-like replacement in the back row.
‘Pieter-Steph has been outstanding in terms of his lineout work, against Ireland and the All Blacks before. His general play as a tight blindside flanker has been great, and you have to look at replacing that.
‘We value that extra lineout option in the back row. You cannot now say that we need an extra opensider, for argument’s sake.’
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) November 13, 2017
Photo: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images