Vodacom Bulls captain Marcell Coetzee says the team’s thoughts are with injured flyhalf Johan Goosen, but he is thankful to have veteran Morne Steyn flying over as a replacement.
Goosen was in sensational form in the initial rounds of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, with many touting the 29-year-old for a Springbok recall for the end-of-year tour.
However, tragedy struck in Saturday’s game against Cardiff as Goosen injured his knee ligament during the first half of the match and has been forced to return to South Africa.
His replacement during the match, Chris Smith, put in a solid performance, kicking 19 points to steer the Bulls to the first win of the campaign.
Speaking during the week, Coetzee said the team was sad to lose a player of Goosen’s calibre, as they prepare to face Edinburgh on Saturday.
“Look, Goosie is a character off the field and he’s a leader on it. It was a blow for us,” Coetzee said on Tuesday.
“We’re bleeding for him. He’s already like a brother to us and we’re all with him. There’s no clarity yet on how serious the injury is, he’ll only find out back in South Africa.
“We’re just hoping he gets the care he deserves.”
The Bulls have confirmed that Steyn will be travelling to Scotland as a replacement.
The Springboks’ hero in the third Test against the British & Irish Lions, Steyn had only recently returned to South Africa following the overseas leg of the Rugby Championship.
The veteran flyhalf did not play any of the Tests against Australia and New Zealand.
“What a guy to have coming over. We all know Morne’s an absolute legend,” Coetzee added.
“He’ll bring that extra energy and enthusiasm going into this final game. That’s just the type of experience you can’t buy.”
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