Oupa Mohoje and Chiliboy Ralepelle play soccer during a Springbok practice in Cape Town in June this year. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Oupa Mohoje’s hopes of making the Springbok squad for next year’s Rugby World Cup have taken a huge blow as he has been ruled out for nine months.

Mohoje picked up a serious knee injury in the Cheetahs’ disastrous 38-0 defeat to Munster in their PRO14 opener in Ireland on Saturday night.

The Cheetahs conceded six tries, and their day became worse when their captain Mohoje was hurt in the first half – without a hand being laid on him.

The Bok flank jumped up to catch a ball and landed awkwardly on his right leg on the lush Thomond Park surface, and immediately went down on his own without a Munster player in sight.

The Cheetahs announced on Wednesday that Mohoje had sustained an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear in his right knee, and he is expected to be out for nine months.

That would take him up to May next year, and the World Cup in Japan starts in September 2019.

The 28-year-old Mohoje has earned 19 Test caps since making his Bok debut in 2014 against Scotland in Port Elizabeth.

His ability as a lineout jumper and strong ball-carrier could have made him an option at blindside flank for the Boks – an area that has proven to be problematic for coach Rassie Erasmus this year, which has seen him use lock Pieter-Steph du Toit at times.

Du Toit is again set to wear the No 7 jersey in Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash against the Wallabies in Brisbane.

The Cheetahs said that Gerhard Olivier has replaced Mohoje in the squad for their next PRO14 match against the Ospreys in Wales on Saturday night.

 

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