Boks sweat on Du Preez

Fourie du Preez's participation in the Rugby Championship is in doubt after he suffered an ankle injury against Scotland.

The Bok scrumhalf was seen leaving the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on crutches after undergoing X-rays on Saturday night, but it is understood that he will undergo proper scans on Monday.

The injury occurred in the build-up to Marcell Coetzee's opening try. Du Preez hobbled off after 29 minutes of the 55-6 victory having failed to shake off the knock. The Boks' attacking play seemed to go off the boil in the minutes after he was replaced by Francois Hougaard, as the Scots successfully disrupted their rhythm at the breakdown. Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is now left to sweat over the fitness of his general.

'Team doctor Craig Roberts is a little bit worried about the bone in the ankle. He's afraid that there may be a split in the bone, but he doesn't want to jump to conclusions,' said Meyer. 'I'm very worried about Fourie. I still believe that he is the best scrumhalf in the world. You could see, when he plays, Handré [Pollard] looked brilliant next to him. And not just that, the way he gives input on attack, he controls the whole game.

'I just hope that he will be ready for the Rugby Championship. I think Fourie just gives our backline more stature, especially with a youngster on his inside. He is a world-class nine and I just hope that he will be fine.'

It remains unclear which games Du Preez will be available for, after it was reported last week that he will only be eligible for the Springboks' home games.

The Boks kick off their campaign against Argentina in Pretoria on 16 August before setting off on the overseas leg of the competition. They will return home for the match against the Wallabies on 27 September at Newlands before closing out the Rugby Championship against the All Blacks at Ellis Park once again.

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images