Andries Bekker.

Springbok lock Andries Bekker has been ruled out of the three-Test home series against England with a back injury, his South African franchise the Stormers said on Wednesday.

Bekker, who has played 24 Tests, was widely expected to lock the Springbok scrum against England in the first Test in Durban on June 9.

Bekker underwent an operation on his lower back last year but the trouble has flared up again and the player, at 2.08 metres the tallest man to turn out for the Springboks, will be out of action for at least five weeks.

“Bekker, who has a lower back injury, will see a specialist and will be reassessed as to his availability in 5 weeks time,” the Stormers said in a statement on their website – Reuters