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Rugby | Springboks

Warren Whiteley © Gallo Images

Whiteley fit for November tour

The Springboks received good news as they gathered in their camp in Bloemfontein ahead of Saturday’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship match against Australia, when team doctor Konrad von Hagen revealed that skipper Warren Whiteley is set to be fit and ready for the November tour to Europe and the UK.

Whiteley was injured in the test series against France and hasn’t seen action since, and initial hopes that he may be ready for the Rugby Championship proved unfounded.

Now the captain himself believes he will be ready for the end of year tour and the news couldn’t be better for a Springbok side still reeling from their Albany defeat.

The team doctor believes that Whiteley can and will be ready for the November trip, and will be able to lead the team into battle again.

“Warren Whiteley is on track. He is continuing with his rehab but obviously won’t be available for the Rugby Championship and we are looking more to the end of the year tour. The good news is Ross Cronje has recovered from his viral illness and has is taking part in training,” Dr Von Hagen told journalists at the team’s base.

“The most recent one is Jaco Kriel. He had an operation last week, quite an extensive shoulder injury and he will be out for around six months. That is unfortunate for us, but he is being taken care of at the Lions, and is in rehab,” Dr Von Hagen said.

“Secondly Coenie – it is now two weeks after the fracture of his forearm, and he should be out for another six weeks. That is luckily not a really long-term injury.”

“From the guys that are with the squad right now, we don’t have any fitness concerns, so we are happy we have a fit and healthy squad to choose from.”

Asked whether that meant that Whiteley is ready for the next tour, the doctor smiled and said the affirmative.

“Yes, definitely. Luckily it is just now the final phase of his rehab and then it is just a matter of getting him fit.”

Dr Von Hagen also expressed his happiness with Handre Pollard’s return to action and said it wouldn’t be long before he was on the field again in the Green and Gold.

“He has done really really well. We’ve put him through a number of paces during his last few weeks with us. He has done double and triple what everyone else has done, just to work on the fitness element. But from his injury, his ankle – we don’t even speak about it anymore and it is not a problem at all – the same with the other old injuries that he had. He is in a very good space.”

The Boks choose their side to face Australia on Thursday.


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