Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu will link up with the South Africa A squad in England on Sunday as backline cover for their midweek clash against the Bristol Bears, after utility back Aphelele Fassi was ruled out.
Fassi injured his ankle in a 28-14 defeat to Munster last week and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks, prompting SA A coach Mzwandile Stick to call up Feinberg-Mngomezulu to add cover in the backline.
The DHL Stormers playmaker and Junior Bok skipper spent the last two weeks with the Boks in the preparation for clashes against Ireland in Dublin and France in Marseille.
“It is unfortunate for us to lose Aphelele, who we have worked with before and knows our structures well for a game that we have placed huge significance on to bounce back from our defeat against Munster,” said Stick.
“This tour served as a fantastic opportunity for him to get top-level game time and to show us that he has the abilities to put his name in the hat for a place in the Rugby World Cup squad next year, and we share in his disappointed to lose out on this chance.
“We are, however, delighted to call up a talented young player in Sacha, who has really impressed the Bok coaches with his skills, high work rate and keenness to learn in the national team environment, and we know he will bring that to the SA ‘A’ team.
“This will also allow us the opportunity to give Sacha valuable game time since he has not played in the last two Tests, and to get a taste of playing in front of a passionate sold-out crowd at this level. He’s a bright prospect for the future, and we are excited to see what he can do on the field.”
Stick arrived in France on Friday after making the journey from Cork to Toulon for the nail-biting loss by Les Bleus on Saturday, and will head to Bristol on Sunday, where the SA A team have already began training for Thursday’s clash with Bristol at Ashton Gate.
Stick, who will announce the SA A team on Monday, will then travel to Genoa at the conclusion of the match with selected players for the Boks’ Test against Italy.