Pieter-Steph du Toit has been ruled out of the Test against France on Saturday due to concussion, reports JON CARDINELLI in Paris.
On Monday, Bok team doctor Konrad von Hagen confirmed that tighthead Coenie Oosthuizen has sustained serious damage to his knee and will play no further part on the current tour of Europe. At this stage, it appears as if the Boks will not call for a front-row replacement.
Du Toit’s injury, however, will result in a call for reinforcements.
The lock-cum-blindside flank took a blow to the head during the latter stages of the recent loss to Ireland, and subsequently failed a concussion test.
‘We will follow the protocol with regards his return to play,’ said Von Hagen, speaking from the team hotel in Paris. ‘He will not be available for selection this weekend.’
The Boks have sustained significant back-row losses this season. Warren Whiteley, Jean-Luc du Preez and Jaco Kriel are all currently recovering from serious injuries.
On Monday, Allister Coetzee confirmed that loose-forward cover was needed ahead of what should be a bruising encounter with the French.
That incoming player was later confirmed as Duane Vermeulen, who is currently in France. The 37-Test loose forward will offer the Boks a powerful ball-carrying and defending option at blindside flank or No 8.
The Bok coach said that he was looking for a like-for-like replacement in the back row.
‘Pieter-Steph has been outstanding in terms of his lineout work, against Ireland and the All Blacks before. His general play as a tight blindside flanker has been great, and you have to look at replacing that.
‘We value that extra lineout option in the back row. You cannot now say that we need an extra opensider, for argument’s sake.’
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) November 13, 2017
Photo: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images