Fully fit Bok squad for Meyer
The Springboks will gather in Cape Town today knowing they will leave on their tour of Ireland, Scotland and England with a fully fit squad.
The injury concerns over hooker Adriaan Strauss and flank Francois Louw have dissipated after both were given the all-clear by their medical teams to continue and tour with the Boks as coach Heyneke Meyer looks set to depart with a young side for a tough tour.
There is no doubt both players are key to the Bok hopes on tour, and Strauss was given the all-clear on his troublesome knee by Free State team doctor Ian Morris, after the hooker sat out the second promotion-relegation match against the Kings on Friday night.
Strauss then told supersport.com it was an old injury that had flared up and he would have it checked out, but he was withdrawn as a precautionary measure.
Louw, however, injured himself captaining his English club Bath to victory on Saturday and there were fears it was a neck vertebrae problem, but these have been dispelled by Bath coach and former Bok assistant Gary Gold, who told Beeld that the injury wasn’t as bad as initially thought.
The Boks will begin their preparations for the tour in Cape Town – still buzzing with Currie Cup fever – and leave for the Northern Hemisphere on Saturday evening.
But while coach Meyer prepares for the tough tour, it seems Ireland have also got injury problems of their own, one of which may heighten the possibility that Strauss may face off with his cousin Richardt.
The latter was chosen for the Ireland squad last week as one of three hookers, but with Ulster hooker Rory Best being ruled out with sprained neck ligaments, the older Strauss may well get to make his debut against the Boks.
The Irish squad already have lost fullback Rob Kearney to injury and now have also lost captain Brian O’Driscoll for the entire November internationals.
AFP reports that O’Driscoll must undergo surgery on his ankle which he injured against Cardiff this past weekend and will miss the internationals against the Springboks, Fiji and Argentina.
Paul O’Connell, the 2009 British and Irish Lions captain, is set to take over the captaincy, with Ireland mulling over a possible debut as well for New Zealander Michael Bent, even though he hasn’t even been in the country for a week.
Bent qualifies for Ireland through his grandmother, and with Ireland making it plain they are intent on bolstering their ranks with players from other countries, could well line-up against the Boks.