Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | Springboks

CJ goes home, waiting on Gurthro



The Springboks went into their second training session of the week building up to the final test of the year against England at Twickenham with a lot of tight forward uncertainty hanging over the squad.

Props CJ van der Linde and Gurthro Steenkamp both pulled up in training on Monday, and by Tuesday afternoon it was announced that Van der Linde would be flying home early and be unavailable for Twickenham.

The 75-test veteran started at loosehead against Ireland and played off the bench against Scotland this past week, but has sustained a hamstring injury.

He will be replaced in the squad by Lions prop JC Janse van Rensburg, who will fly to London to serve as back-up to Steenkamp and Heinke van der Merwe, with the decision to call him up a clear indication that the management are not 100% sure that Steenkamp will be ready to face England.

“Seeing that Gurthro was not feeling 100% fit on Monday and keeping in mind that first-choice Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira was forced at the last minute to withdraw from the Ireland test and then had to fly home earlier in the tour, we have decided it would be best to have proper cover at loosehead,” said Bok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“JC is an experienced player at Vodacom Super Rugby and Absa Currie Cup level and also captained the MTN Golden Lions very well this year. He’s been knocking on the national door for long and this will provide an opportunity for JC to experience the Springbok culture and structures.”

Indeed, but going into a test against England effectively uncertain about two positions in the tight five is not an ideal situation for the Boks to be in.

Eben Etzebeth’s hearing for alleged foul play was due to start later on Tuesday, so the big lock was unable to train with the Boks at the Latymer School near White City.

The Boks are unable to comment on the Etzebeth situation because it is sub judice, but there is widespread confidence that the player will be cleared.

Even if he is, however, having him miss training is far from ideal, particularly considering that the tight five is supposedly an area of England strength.

The Boks also still have to make a call on JP Pietersen, who has a groin injury and was unable to train on Monday.

The Boks have arrived at this juncture of their tour and rugby year carrying a lot of bumps and bruises as a legacy of the big hits that have been put in along the way, and it is going to take a special effort for them to scale the final mountain at Twickenham.



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Gavin Rich
Saru should follow Australian lead
Australian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver may owe me something as an unofficial adviser....

Tony Johnson
Running the rule over prospects
Most of the teams in Super Rugby have just passed the halfway stage of the competition.

Brendan Venter
No effort without error
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles…"...

Brenden Nel
How to select a World Cup squad
It struck me like a lightning bolt, one of those moments when you realise in an instant that this...

Kyle Brown
Fast and furious in Tokyo
Just when we thought it wouldn’t get any more physical, Hong Kong and Tokyo happened. We arrived...

Super Wrap
SuperWrap: Week 10, 2015
"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it." Those words belong to Winston Churchill but...