Rassie Erasmus has highlighted Damian Willemse’s versatility as a key factor that led to his call-up to the Bok squad as a replacement for Jesse Kriel.
Kriel sustained a hamstring strain in the opening match of the tournament against New Zealand, and while it was initially thought that he would be available in time to face Italy this Friday, the injury is more serious than first feared.
Willemse is set to join the Boks in Japan on Thursday, having had to cut short a loan stint with English club Saracens.
‘Damian would have been more involved with us this year but for injury, but he is familiar with our systems and should have no problem slotting in,’ Erasmus commented.
‘He has the ability to play in a number of positions in the back division, while other players can cover Jesse’s No 13 jersey.
‘I feel for Jesse. He has been in the match-day 23 for almost every match since I took over and is a model professional. He was a key member of the squad.’
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) October 1, 2019
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