Midfield concern for Boks

Captain Jean de Villiers is the biggest injury concern for the Springboks following the brutal clash against Samoa, reports JON CARDINELLI in Birmingham.

De Villiers sustained a jaw injury in the clash at Villa Park on Saturday. The Bok captain was rushed to hospital for X-rays after the match. An update on his condition will be made public on Sunday afternoon.

The 46-6 victory against Samoa may have come at a cost. While De Villiers is the biggest concern at present, it’s believed that as many as six players sustained injuries over the course of the contest. The names of these players, as well as the nature and severity of their injuries, will be known following further assessments.

De Villiers, Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel were all helped from the field at various stages of the second half. De Allende hobbled off with what appeared to be a knee problem. Kriel sustained a blow to the face, and was ushered down the tunnel.

If all three players are unavailable for next week’s clash, coach Heyneke Meyer will be forced to select a new midfield combination.

Handré Pollard, who shifted from flyhalf to inside centre late in Saturday's game, may be forced to start at No 12 against Scotland next week. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and it may be that JP Pietersen or Bryan Habana moves to No 13.

If any of the injuries to De Villiers, De Allende and Kriel are revealed to be World Cup-ending, Meyer will need to look to South Africa for reinforcements. Frans Steyn, Jan Serfontein and possibly even Lionel Mapoe may yet feature at this tournament.

Photo: Anne Laing/HSM Images

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Jon Cardinelli