JOHANNESBURG - Cyle Brink must be wondering what he did to upset the rugby gods. The Lions flanker’s 2018 season is done and dusted, his chance at becoming a Springbok gone. A knee injury picked up at training with the Springbok squad in Durban last week means he won’t play again until next year’s Super Rugby competition.
The setback is the latest in what has been a tough year for the 24-year-old. Brink played some of the best rugby of his career for the Lions this season and was in line to make his Test debut in the coming days, or weeks, having first missed out in June on that opportunity – injury again costing him a Springbok debut.
On that occasion it was a nerve problem in his shoulder and neck that forced him to the sidelines and he only returned to action in the latter stages of the Super Rugby competition. While he featured in the quarter-final win against the Jaguares, the same nerve issue, or “stinger”, to his right arm forced him to miss the semi-final against the Waratahs.
He returned to play in the final nearly three weeks ago and while the Lions didn’t enjoy the fairytale finish in Christchurch, Brink got through the game unscathed and showed he was over the problems that had beset him earlier.
Bok boss Rassie Erasmus was then finally able to include him in his Rugby Championship squad, only for Brink to break down in training last week. The former SA Under-20 star, who is highly rated by Erasmus, underwent surgery on his knee on Friday last week and is now recovering at home.