Big blow for Boks as Pollard, Am ruled out of Pumas Tests
Bok boss Jacques Nienaber says he will not call in replacements as he feels there is enough cover in the current squad.
Lukhanyo Am is one of the Boks who has been ruled out of the Test against Argentina. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard and centre Lukhanyo Am will return to their clubs for further medical assessments after being ruled out of Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash against Australia in Sydney.
Both players suffered knee injuries against Australia in Adelaide last weekend, which prompted the decision to send them back to the Leicester Tigers and Sharks respectively for further medical advice.
Elton Jantjies (hand) and Pieter-Steph du Toit (knee), meanwhile, will remain in camp, as they are expected to recover sufficiently from their injuries for the last two matches of the team’s campaign — against Argentina in Beunos Aires and Durban.
‘We are well covered’
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber said no replacements would be called up at this stage as they have sufficient cover within the squad. However, if the need arises, they will call on reinforcements.
“It’s always unfortunate to lose players in a squad, but this opens the door for other players to step in and showcase what they can do in those positions,” said Nienaber.
“We will now have 32 players in camp and with Elton expected to recover for the matches against Argentina and players such as Andre (Esterhuizen) and Jesse (Kriel) and Frans (Steyn) all being capable centres, we are well covered.
“Our plan from the outset of the season was to give most of the players in our expanded squad game time as we build towards the Rugby World Cup, and this involved rotating a few players, so we’ll use this opportunity to build our depth.”