CAPE TOWN - Springbok head coach JacquesNienaber says Damian de Allende and RG Snyman, who were involved in a fire-pit accident at the weekend, should be able to play against Georgia and the British & Irish Lions “if everything goes according to plan”.
News broke on Monday that the Bok duo had sustained burns to their legs, hands and face along with two other Munster teammates, but it was confirmed that the burns to the two South Africans aren’t as substantial as initially thought.
De Allende, Snyman, Mike Haley and CJ Stander required treatment after being rushed to hospital after the incident.
“I spoke to both of them and they are fine, which is the most important thing,” Nienaber said during a virtual media engagement on Wednesday. “They are seeing the specialist on Friday and whenever he clears them to fly, they’ll be on the plane coming back to us. We have to bear in mind that they need time to get the logistics right, but they’ll be on a plane back to us as soon as they’re ready.
“Accidents like that happen, it’s not ideal, but it’s not something we can control, that’s why we call it an accident. For me, having been in Ireland, I understand that it rains a bit more there than it does in South Africa and if you want to sit in front of a woodfire, like we do in South Africa, I did the same – I took some petrol and poured it on the wood because you can’t get it lit easily, the wood would be wet.”
He added that the ‘superficial burns’ shouldn’t preclude the duo from the upcoming international action if infection doesn’t strike.
“If everything goes according to plan, I think they will be able to play against Georgia. The challenge is if they get an infection or if for some or other medical reason they can’t fly to us as soon as possible, then it becomes a little more difficult.
“In terms of that we will have to be adaptable. It’s something we can’t control. It’s dependent on how quickly their wounds heal and when they can start training again, that can be anything from two to four weeks.
“We will just have to wait and see, but I’m very optimistic, I think they should be good to go. From a knee perspective with RG, we will have to see how that goes. We always look at mindset, we will have to assess his physical readiness, if he ticks them all and his rugby is good and he plays well, we’ll select him.”
Snyman was already in the midst of rehabilitation on his knee prior to the burn incident, with Nienaber adding that he would undergo further assessment once he arrives in SA.
“RG was doing fantastic, I saw his GPS stats from last week before the burn, but it is what it is. Now we just wait for the wounds to heal and we will assess him when he gets back over here.”