Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport


Jasper Wiese banned for six matches, Boks looking for new No 8

The Boks are already without several World Cup winners who are on an injured list.


The Springboks are looking for a new No 8 after Jasper Wiese was handed a six-match ban on Thursday for a dangerous clear-out at a ruck during an English Premiership game at the weekend.

Wiese, who was part of the Boks’ World Cup-winning squad in France last season, was red-carded during his final match for Leicester Tigers against Exeter for the dangerous play at a ruck. The No 8 will now leave the English team for a move to Japan.

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With Duane Vermeulen having retired at the end of the World Cup last year, Wiese was set to become the Boks’ first choice No 8, but he will now miss six Tests this season as Leicester have no more club matches this term for him to serve out his suspension.

The powerful eighthman will not be available for the matches against Wales, Ireland (2), Portugal, and Australia (2).

‘Reckless’

The disciplinary finding for Wiese is that his tip tackle was at the ‘low end’, with a sanction of six weeks, but that the tackle was “reckless”, there was “head contact” and that the opposition player was in a “vulnerable position”.

Wiese admitted his “foul play” and showed “remorse” but his disciplinary record counted against him for a reduced sentence.

The Boks look set to also be without Steven Kitshoff, Lukhanyo Am, Damian Willemse for at least some of the season, while there are also doubts about the fitness of Kwagga Smith, Faf de Klerk and Jaden Hendrikse.

In Wiese’s absence, Bok boss Rassie Erasmus might turn to Evan Roos of the Stormers, while Phepsi Buthelezi of the Sharks and Francke Horn of the Lions will also be in with a shout.

Other young players who could come into the selection frame include Elrigh Louw and Cameron Hanekom of the Bulls.

The Boks’ first Test of the season is on June 22, against Wales, in London and for this match no Europe-based players will be available as the match falls outside the international Test window.

In early July the Boks face Ireland in two Tests before they take on Portugal, while later in the year they will be in action in the Rugby Championship, with matches against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand in the schedule.

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Rassie Erasmus Springboks (Bokke/Boks)