• Bulls prop out for nine months

    Promising Vodacom Bulls prop Simphiwe Matanzima has been ruled out for the rest of the year after suffering a complete tear of his achilles tendon during a conditioning session.

    The Bulls announced on Friday that the 23-year-old Matanzima will be on the sidelines for at least nine months after his injury.

    Matanzima successfully underwent surgery on Friday after suffering the injury during a conditioning session earlier this week.

    ‘It’s a long road, but we have no doubt that [Simphiwe] will tackle it head on with a positive energy, and come out smiling as he always does,’ the Bulls said in a statement.

    It will be a massive setback for the young loosehead prop, widely regarded as one of the Bulls’ most promising players, as he was also kept out of Vodacom Super Rugby action earlier this year after suffering a shoulder injury.

    The Bulls still have Springbok Lizo Gqoboka and another youngster in Gerhard Steenekamp as their looseheads, while the franchise was able to complete the signing of Jacques van Rooyen this week.

    However, should Gqoboka be called up to the Springbok squad for the Rugby Championship later this year, this could put their resources in this department under strain.

    The news of Matanzima’s injury will also come as a concern for the other South African franchises, who are all busy with getting players reconditioned after spending the last four months in lockdown.

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