South Africa have suffered a setback in their preparations for the upcoming test match series against Ireland next month with the news that experienced flanker Schalk Burger is set to miss the series through injury.
Having played through an injured ankle sustained midway through the Stormers match against the Bulls last weekend, the aftermath has shown that the knock is worse than originally thought with the 86-timed capped Springbok ruled out for the next four-to-five weeks.
Thus ruling him out of the Stormers crucial Super Rugby tie against the Cheetahs this weekend but more importantly from Alaistair Coetzee’s point of view out of South Africa’s preparations for the visit of Ireland.
There have been doubts regarding Burger’s international future following last years World Cup, however club coach Robbie Fleck believes that the World Cup winner still has the desire to play for the Springboks (sport24.co.za):
“I think he’s always got those Springbok ambitions.”
“He’s a quality Springbok and he approaches every week like he wants to play for the Springboks. I think the injury is a blow.”
To make matters worse for Coetzee, or add insult to injury so to speak, in-form out-half Elton Jantjies is in a race against time to be fit for next month as it has been confirmed that the Lions player is to undergo surgery on a fractured left hand thus ruling him out for the next three to four weeks.
Jantjies has been in flying form for Lions thus far in the Super Rugby season and was considered to be a shoe-in for the number ten shirt.
While Jantjies will be aiming for a return for the third test in Port Elizabeth, this news will come as a major blow to Coetzee who already has to make due without incumbent Handre Pollard with Sharks pivot Pat Lambie expected to fill-in at ten for the Ireland test having himself only recently returned from injury.
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