Lood in doubt for semi-final

The Springboks could be without Lood de Jager as well as Victor Matfield when they tackle the All Blacks at Twickenham next Saturday, reports JON CARDINELLI in London.

On Sunday, Bok team doctor Craig Roberts confirmed that De Jager and Bismarck du Plessis sustained injuries in the quarter-final clash against Wales. De Jager appears to be the biggest concern at this point, and a call on his availability will only be made later in the week.

‘Lood injured a tendon in his foot,’ said Roberts. ‘We just have to wait and see how it settles over the next few days before making a decision. The good news is that there is still time for Lood to recover.

‘Bismarck has a nasty laceration on his hand, which was caused by Francois Louw accidentally standing on it. It’s been stitched up and is still swollen, but I’m confident Bismarck will be ready for the All Blacks.’

De Jager has been one of the Boks’ best players at this tournament. Losing the lock to injury at this stage would be a big setback to the team’s World Cup ambitions.

Roberts confirmed that Matfield is yet to be cleared of his hamstring ailment. Matfield has battled with the injury since the Rugby Championship Test against Australia in July. The 38-year-old aggravated the injury in the pool clash against Samoa.

If both De Jager and Matfield are ruled out of the coming semi-final, the Boks will have to turn to their third-choice No 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit is yet to start a Test in this position.

‘We may have to bracket a few guys together [when the team is announced on Wednesday],’ said Roberts. ‘Obviously we want to give them as much time to recover before making the final call.’

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

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Jon Cardinelli