Marcell Coetzee leaves the field at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday after taking a knock to the head against Argentina. Photo: Willem Loock/BackpagePix

He missed out on selection four years ago, and now Marcell Coetzee has to endure more Rugby World Cup heartbreak.

The Ulster loose forward was ruled out of contention for the Japanese showpiece on Monday due to injury.

And it’s not so much the head knock that forced him off after just 16 minutes in the first half of the 24-18 win over Argentina at Loftus Versfeld at the weekend.

The 28-year-old, who packed down at No 8 on Saturday, has sustained an ankle injury that will require surgery on Wednesday, SA Rugby said.

“He will be out of action for up to 12 weeks, which means he is also ruled out of contention for selection for the Springboks’ RWC squad,” their statement read.

It is terribly hard luck on Coetzee, the former Sharks star who now plies his trade in Europe.

Able to play in all three loose-forward positions, Coetzee, who has 29 Test caps, did not make the cut for the 2015 squad under the watch of Heyneke Meyer, where he was one of the standby players.

There was a good chance that he would have been part of Rassie Erasmus’ 31-man squad this time around.

Now the man who could benefit from his misfortune is Kwagga Smith, who replaced him at Loftus, or Rynhardt Elstadt, who has been part of the squad this season and started at blindside flank against Argentina in Pretoria.

In addition, SA Rugby announced that four other players – Lizo Gqoboka (Blue Bulls), Marvin Orie (Golden Lions) and Sharks duo Thomas du Toit and André Esterhuizen – have been released from the Bok World Cup in Bloemfontein to play Currie Cup rugby this weekend.

Erasmus will name his final squad for Japan next Monday, 26 August.


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