JOHANNESBURG – First Rohan Janse van Rensburg was ruled out of June’s Test series against France, and hours later it was the turn of Handre Pollard also being sidelined. Thursday was not a good day for the Lions, Bulls and Springboks.
The double injury blow has seriously dented the national team’s chances of turning around their shocking 2016 form against France, who visit South Africa for a three-Test serieds in June.
Both men were expected to play a crucial role for Allister Coetzee’s team – at flyhalf and inside centre.
Janse van Rensburg’s knee injury – picked up while playing against the Stormers last Saturday – will see him go under the knife to repair damaged ligaments in his right knee, ruling him out the game for three months, while Pollard hurt his right ankle in training on Thursday and he, too, will have to have surgery, which will keep him on the sidelines for up to 10 weeks.
But it’s not only the Boks who have been hurt by the injuries to these two key men, but the Lions and Bulls as well.
Coetzee though will feel he just can’t win after injuries also struck down Pat Lambie, Damian de Allende, Juan de Jongh, Ruan Combrinck, Howard Mnisi and Julian Redelinghuys, who were all first choice Boks at times in their positions last year.
The race is now on for the Bok No 10 and 12 jerseys, with young Curwin Bosch of the Sharks and Dan du Plessis of the Stormers the form men in those positions.
But with more than five weeks of Super Rugby action still to come before the Boks run out against France, Coetzee will be having sleepless nights, praying that the injury bug will not strikes down any more of his first choice men.