The Springboks have been dealt a further blow with news that injured scrumhalf Fourie du Preez will be sidelined for the rest of the 2014 season.
Du Preez sustained an ankle injury in the recent Test against Scotland, and has since undergone surgery. It was initially hoped that Du Preez would only miss three months of rugby and rejoin the Boks on their four-match tour of Europe in November.
However, Du Preez has been told that he will need more time to recover and won't be back on the playing field until early 2015.
'It’s a massive blow to lose yet another world-class player and a key player due to an injury,' said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. 'Fourie is also a dynamic leader and one of the vice-captains in our team and his injury is a huge setback.
'Fourie has been brilliant since he returned to the Springboks last year and he will be missed. However, this provides an opportunity for other scrumhalves to prove themselves and make the step up when the opportunity arises.'
At the moment, six Springboks who featured for South Africa in the last year are not available for the Rugby Championship. They are Du Preez, Jaque Fourie (ankle), Pieter-Steph du Toit (knee), Arno Botha (knee), Pierre Spies (bicep) and Flip van der Merwe (knee).
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