Midfield blow for Boks

The Springboks' centre stocks have been further depleted with news that Damian de Allende has been ruled out of the June series. JON CARDINELLI reports

De Allende sustained a knee injury in the Stormers' recent clash with the Sharks at Kings Park. He has been unable to train since linking up with the Springbok squad, and was seen at the Stormers' High Performance Centre on Monday walking with the assistance of crutches.

Jean de Villiers is another who watched Monday's training session from the sideline. The Bok captain has been ruled out of action for eight weeks because of a knee injury, while another seasoned midfielder in Jaque Fourie is battling an ankle problem and will be out of action for some time.

Confirmation that De Allende will be unavailable for the next four to six weeks means that the Boks have now lost three centre options in a short space of time. Marnitz Boshoff has been called into the Bok squad as a replacement, even though he is a flyhalf.

The good news for the Boks is that Frans Steyn should be available. The Sharks utility back was tested by the medical staff at the recent training camp in Durban, and it was revealed that he is carrying a chronic knee injury. Steyn will, however, be considered for the coming matches against the World XV, Wales, and Scotland.

'Frans has some cartilage missing from his knee, but he is being managed and will be available,' said Bok team doctor, Craig Roberts.

'When he does too much kicking, his right knee tends to swell up. So it's important that we manage his workload during the week to ensure he is fresh for the weekend.'

Meanwhile, the Boks are hopeful that flank Schalk Burger will also be ready for Saturday's game at Newlands.

Burger missed the Stormers' last game because of a neck problem, and is currently being assessed by the Bok medical team on a day to day basis. Burger didn't take any contact in Monday's training session.

The team to play the World XV at Newlands will be announced on Wednesday.

Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images

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