Eben Etzebeth will have injuries sustained against Wales looked at when he returns to Cape Town. Photo: BackpagePix

Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth will see a specialist in Cape Town to further examine his shoulder and back injuries.

The towering lock was forced off the field just before halftime against Wales in Cardiff after he sustained a nerve injury, which caused severe pain in his left shoulder.

“The scans we took on Saturday evening after the match came out normal,” explained Dr Konrad von Hagen, the Springbok team doctor. “Eben will however visit a specialist in Cape Town to further investigate the injured shoulder and his troublesome back.”

Meanwhile, Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said a poor start cost his team at the Principality Stadium. Wales won the match 24-22 after thwarting a determined comeback from the South Africans.

“Wales got off to a flyer, scoring 14 points in the first ten minutes by using a very accurate kick for their first try and they exploited the space behind us for their second,” said Coetzee. “I am proud of the team for the way they fought back to claw their way into the lead and for showing character in the second half.

“We had our opportunities but a loose pass and some individual errors prevented us from taking those scoring opportunities.”

According to Coetzee, his side can be reasonably pleased with the four-match tour.

“We didn’t have a good start in Dublin, but we fought back to win against a determined French side in Paris and then delivered a clinical performance against Italy in very difficult weather conditions.

“If you look at where we started from at the beginning of the year, then I am pleased with the year overall. We started out as a new group, establishing a new team environment and got the results in the home series against France.

“We only lost to New Zealand in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, while we were perhaps unlucky in our two draws against Australia,” said Coetzee.

Coetzee praised the emergence of a new crop of Test players this year, and said: “In this group there are several players who played their first full season of international rugby, such as Malcolm Marx, Andries Coetzee, Dillyn Leyds, Raymond Rhule, Courtnall Skosan, Ross Cronje, Uzair Cassiem and Franco Mostert.

“We also saw the introduction of other young players such as Wilco Louw, Dan and Jean-Luc du Preez, Warrick Gelant and Francois Venter. These players will only get better and gain more experience the more they play together at this level.

“Eben also did a fantastic job when he took of over the captaincy from Warren Whiteley and it was great to see him grow in the role, while I am pleased with the rest of leadership group – Siya (Kolisi), Elton (Jantjies), Beast (Tendai Mtawarira) and Francois Louw, who supported him well.

“Duane Vermeulen and Francois also brought a lot of experience to the group and they both enjoyed their time with the squad. The younger players learned a lot from both of them. They have a lot to offer to Springbok rugby,” said Coetzee.

The Springbok squad will arrive back in South Africa on Monday morning.

 SA Rugby

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