The Springboks will make a call on No 8 Warren Whiteley’s availability for the clash against the All Blacks on Tuesday. JON CARDINELLI reports from Pretoria.
Whiteley broke down with a groin injury in the lead-up to the recent Test against Australia in Port Elizabeth. With Duane Vermeulen currently playing in Japan and Francois Louw in England, coach Rassie Erasmus opted to give Sikhumbuzo Notshe his first starting chance at No 8.
Early indications are that Notshe may retain his starting place when the Boks front the All Blacks in Pretoria this Saturday. On Monday, Bok assistant coach Matt Proudfoot said Whiteley has yet to recover from his ailment.
‘Warren has still got some rehab work to do. We will give him some more time to do some very specific recovery work. By Tuesday, we should know whether he will be available for the game or not.’
Proudfoot believes the back-row combination of Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Notshe did a great job in the 23-12 win against the Wallabies. Proudfoot, who worked with Notshe previously when he was the Stormers and Western Province forwards coach, feels the versatile loosie has come a long way.
‘He did his job against Australia. He’s one of the better attacking players in South Africa, and we want players to play to their natural strengths.
‘It’s not about being negative and saying that he has to fill anyone’s boots. He has something special, and we must try and use that.
‘As coaches, we don’t want to put players in boxes. That confines them. We want players to express themselves.’
Proudfoot confirmed that Damian de Allende has been making good progress with his shoulder injury and may be ready to return this week. The centre rejoined the squad ahead of the recent clash against the Wallabies, and even took part in training sessions.
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