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4 minute read
5 Jul 2021
06:22

Recovering Snyman likely to miss Test series

SuperSport

A decision will be made later in the week on whether Eben Etzebeth will be ready to face Georgia, but it is the injury cloud hanging over RG Snyman in particular that will be occupying the mind of Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber ahead of the British and Irish Lions tour.

A decision will be made later in the week on whether Eben Etzebeth will be ready to face Georgia, but it is the injury cloud hanging over RG Snyman in particular that will be occupying the mind of Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber ahead of the British and Irish Lions tour.

It has been disclosed by the Bok management that Snyman — a key member of the so-called Bomb Squad during the Rugby World Cup triumph 20 months ago — has had to undergo a skin graft operation following the burn incident in Ireland a few weeks ago that also affected Damian de Allende.

“Eben went off with a rib injury on Friday and is being medically assessed … A final call will be made on whether he can play against Georgia later in the week.”
Springbok forwards coach, Deon Davids

Snyman was already struggling to recover from a knee injury at the time and apparently that rehabilitation has been compromised by the burns.

“RG is out of the camp and not with us at the moment,” confirmed Springbok forwards coach Deon Davids at an online press conference conducted from the team base in Johannesburg on Sunday.

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“He went for a skin graft operation and that has impacted on the rehabilitation process. As he recovers and we get more medical information we will be better placed to be sure, but at this stage, RG has [only] a small chance of playing in the three Tests matches [against the British and Irish Lions].

“But he will be able to join the squad for the remaining Test matches [that we play after the Lions series] and then we have the end-of-year tour after that. We will just have to wait and see if he can play against the Lions.”

That seems highly unlikely now, so the last thing the Boks need is for another lock to go down injured.

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Fortunately, the prognosis on Etzebeth, who was the one player to go off injured against Georgia in the opening Test match of 2021, is good at this stage.

“Eben went off with a rib injury on Friday and is being medically assessed. He was quite fine this morning but he is constantly having his condition assessed and we are confident he will be ready in a day or two. A final call will be made on whether he can play against Georgia later in the week.”

“If needed I will do the extra scrumming work needed in order to get me ready to play in the second row again. I will play wherever I am needed by the Boks.”
Springbok lock, Lood de Jager

Lood de Jager, the other Bok lock who has been struggling for several months with a long-term injury, is still on course to return to rugby in the South Africa A game against the Lions on July 14, but if there is another injury to a second row forward, it could precipitate a bit of a mini-crisis.

It was unsurprising therefore that Pieter-Steph du Toit, who played much of his rugby as a lock before moving to the flank — where he was playing when he won the World Rugby Player of the Year Award in 2019 — was asked at yesterday’s lunchtime press conference whether he’d be prepared to make a temporary shift back to his old position.

“Of course, I would be prepared to play there if it helps the Boks. I started my rugby career as a lock and there is not much difference outside of the scrumming being more important when you are a lock,” said Du Toit.

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“If needed I will do the extra scrumming work needed in order to get me ready to play in the second row again. I will play wherever I am needed by the Boks.”

According to Davids, there are no more injury concerns in the Bok camp ahead of a few bumps and bruises picked up in the first Test.

The team for the second Test against Georgia will be named on Tuesday.