Fullback Willie le Roux may miss the remainder of the Bok tour due to a cheek injury, reports JON CARDINELLI in Padova.
Heyneke Meyer has two major concerns following the bruising battle against England. Le Roux and prop Jannie du Plessis will go for scans on Monday afternoon to determine the severity of the injuries. There's a chance both players will miss the coming clash against Italy, as well as next week’s Test against Wales.
Speaking from the Boks’ base in Padova, team doctor Craig Roberts revealed that Le Roux sustained a blow to the cheek last Saturday. The incident occurred right after Le Roux delivered the miracle offload that resulted in a try for Cobus Reinach.
Roberts confirmed Le Roux is a concern at present, and that the medical team will have more clarity following scans on Monday afternoon. If it’s revealed that the cheek has been fractured, then Le Roux will be out of action for between three to four weeks. The fullback will not train with the team on Monday.
Ruan Dreyer has already been called up as cover for Du Plessis, who injured his leg in the Test against England. Du Plessis’s foot was caught in a ruck, and he hyper-extended his knee and strained his hamstring.
On Monday, Roberts reiterated that Du Plessis is unlikely to play against Italy. If scan results reveal a serious injury, then the veteran tighthead will also be ruled out of the game against Wales.
It’s in the latter fixture where the Boks will miss these two key players. As far as Italy is concerned, it has always been Meyer’s intent to give a number of fringe players an opportunity.
Coenie Oosthuizen and Julian Redelinghuys should get game time in the tighthead prop position this Saturday. While Pat Lambie has played fullback for the Boks before, it’s more likely Johan Goosen will deputise for Le Roux in Padova.
Players like Beast Mtawarira, Duane Vermeulen, and Marcell Coetzee will be managed at training this week, and there's a chance they will not feature against Italy.
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