Injury concerns for Boks

Victor Matfield and Marcell Coetzee are not expected to feature in the Boks’ next Test against the All Blacks on July 25.

Matfield suffered a hamstring injury against the Wallabies on Saturday and had to be replaced in the 18th minute, while Coetzee picked up a leg injury during the latter stages of the encounter.

After the match, Coetzee confirmed on Twitter that the injury was nothing too serious, but a further assessment will be carried out in Johannesburg on Monday on all the injured players.

Jannie du Plessis took a knock to the head, while Francois Louw sustained a nasty cut to his mouth in the 28th minute.

Matfield said he only expected to be out for a short period of time.

‘I think it’s just a little hamstring strain, hopefully it won’t be too bad, maybe just a week or two [out], but we’ll see on Monday,’ Matfield explained after the game.

Meyer confirmed the injury to Coetzee did not seem as bad as first feared.

‘At first we were worried and thought maybe he’d damaged his knee ligaments, but it’s better news, it seems like just a bruise above the knee. He’ll probably be out for two to three weeks … Jannie also took a big knock, but he should be fine.

‘There were lots of hard knocks out there and all these injuries will certainly test our depth, but the guys next in line will have to show what they’ve got and stand up next week.

‘We’re already without experienced players such as Jean de Villiers, Fourie du Preez, Duane Vermeulen and Willem Alberts, but we always wanted to use the Tests in the Rugby Championship to see what depth we have and there will probably be more changes next week.’

Meyer admitted it had been heart-breaking to suffer a last-minute defeat to the Wallabies.

‘We simply can’t dwell on it and have to take some harsh but valuable lessons to heart. Losing our captain early was tough and we finished the match with eight players who were playing in their 10th Test or fewer than that. It’s not an excuse – we will all be better for it and we will have to look at ways to overcome this.

‘Although we played some brilliant rugby at times, our execution also let us down and I think we left two tries out there, right at the end of the first half and midway through the second. We probably lacked some experience at the end when we needed to close out the match, but we’ve said from the word go this season that we wanted to use our five matches in the buildup to the World Cup to get ready.

‘We’ll never accept defeat but I believe that we will take a lot from this match against a very experienced Wallabies team. Next week we have the All Blacks waiting in Johannesburg and we have to rise to the challenge.’

Photo: Cameron Spencer Getty Images

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