Anxious wait on Adriaan, Flo injuries
After a nightmare season of injuries, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer will be hoping all goes well as two key players undergo examinations today (Monday) to determine if they are available for the year end tour.
With an already long injury list of players not available, Meyer will be looking to Bloemfontein and Bath for news on both his vice-captain Adriaan Strauss and flanker Francois Louw as they undergo examinations for serious injuries which might make a major impact on the Boks' plans for tests against Ireland, Scotland and England next month.
Strauss was forced out of Friday night’s second Promotion-Relegation match in Port Elizabeth against the EP Kings with a knee injury and while the hooker admits “it’s an old injury that recurred” he will nonetheless undergo a scan on Monday to find out the seriousness of the injury before a final decision is made on his ability to tour.
Louw injured his neck in an English Premiership game on the weekend, and will see doctors on Monday to determine how serious it is and what impact it will have on his Bok aspirations.
If both are unavailable, it will cause a massive ripple in the Bok camp, especially with captain Jean de Villiers still not 100% certain of his participation in the Ireland test with a hamstring strain blocking his path.
While De Villiers is confident he will be able to lead the team in Dublin, it is understandable that there would be massive concern about Strauss, the vice-captain and Louw, one of the other leaders in the side, who captain’s his English club Bath.
Strauss told supersport.com his withdrawal was precautionary and may well have been to ensure his participation in the tour, but remains a concern.
“It’s an old injury that is giving me trouble, but we will have a look on Monday,” he told supersport.com.
Is Strauss is declared fit, it will heighten the chance of him facing off in Dublin against his cousin Richardt, who was selected for Ireland last week and could make his debut against the Boks.
Meanwhile, Louw suffered his neck injury just after he scored Bath’s third try in their 23-15 win over Exeter on Saturday and will be assessed this week.
“Francois has got a bad bang on his head and it looks like he’s compacted the vertebrae on his neck so he’s in a lot of pain at the moment. I think it’s going to be a lot sorer in the morning so we will have to evaluate how he gets on,” Bath’s director of rugby, Gary Gold told The Telegraph.
“We will have a look at him on Monday. He’s available to us for next week’s game and then we will lose him for the tests the Springboks are going to play.”
Louw was a standout since returning to the Boks and has formed a great loose trio with Willem Alberts and Duanne Vermeulen at the back of the scrum.
The Boks are currently missing no less than 13 front-line players while a few more are tied into contracts in Japan.
Injured players that had been part of the Springbok squad thus far this year, but were not considered for selection when the team was announced on Sunday are Coenie Oosthuizen, Bismarck du Plessis, Tiaan Liebenberg, Andries Bekker, Siya Kolisi, Jacques Potgieter, Pierre Spies, Johan Goosen, Frans Steyn and Bryan Habana.
Furthermore, Schalk Burger, Juan Smith and Heinrich Brussow are still out injured.