CAPE TOWN – Sharks flank Jean-Luc du Preez will not join the Springboks on their European tour due to a fractured ankle.
The hard-working loose forward picked up the serious injury during the Currie Cup final defeat to Western Province at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday.
SA Rugby announced on Twitter that no decision has yet been made on a replacement.
Du Preez went off in the first half after a tackle by WP flank Sikhumbuzo Notshe, with Du Preez’s lower leg being caught under Notshe’s body in the 21st minute.
Springbok coach Allister Coetzee, when announcing the 34-man squad for the end-of-year tour on Sunday, surprisingly opted to include the Sharks No 7 in the group, citing that he was waiting for the outcome of the MRI scan and orthopaedic’s opinion on Monday.
With only Jean-Luc’s brother Dan as a No 8 in the squad, and a number of specialist blindside flanks such as Uzair Cassiem and Oupa Mohoje in the mix already, one wonders whether Coetzee will bring in a specialist at the back of the scrum.
In-form WP No 8 Nizaam Carr is the obvious candidate and is regarded in many rugby circles as the best in his position at the moment, but Coetzee has not selected him for the national team during his tenure.
Another strong option would be Southern Kings star Andisa Ntsila, but he seems to be in the same boat as Carr.
Lions fans will be calling for someone like Kwagga Smith to get a chance, while WP all-rounder Sikhumbuzo Notshe was part of Coetzee’s bigger squad earlier in the year.