Bongi Mbonambi has returned to the field at just the right time following the injury to Malcolm Marx. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Bongi Mbonambi has returned to the field at just the right time following the injury to Malcolm Marx. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Bongi Mbonambi in action for Western Province against SWD in Oudtshoorn on Sunday. Photo: @rugbychallenge via Twitter
Bongi Mbonambi in action for Western Province against SWD in Oudtshoorn on Sunday. Photo: @rugbychallenge via Twitter

CAPE TOWN – If the performance he produced on Sunday is anything to go by, then Stormers hooker Bongi Mbonambi could offer the Springboks a solution at hooker against England.

The Stormers were dealt a big blow when Mbonambi’s burst appendix ruled him out of their Super Rugby opener against the Jaguares.

He was initially expected to make his return following the Stormers’ three-match tour to Australasia, after he underwent emergency surgery on the eve of the Newlands opener, but further complications required another abdominal op – placing him on the injury list for three months.

Following that prognosis made in early March, Mbonambi’s chances of making the Bok squad for the three-Test series against Eddie Jones’ men were slim to non-existent, as only resuming training in June wouldn’t have given him enough time to up his match fitness.

But his start for Western Province in their 50-3 thrashing of the SWD Eagles during a SuperSport Challenge match in Oudshoorn on Sunday – in which the Bok hooker played well into the second half in his first match this year – should be enough to see him be involved against England, at least from the second Test onwards.

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If the Stormers are satisfied with Mbonambi’s condition, his availability for Test duty would bring great relief to the Boks, who have been dealt a massive blow with first-choice No 2 Malcolm Marx’s lengthy injury layoff.

The Stormers face the Lions at Newlands on Saturday (5.15pm kickoff).

 

IOL Sport