Bok prop crisis
19 May 2006
Springbok coach Jake White’s prop problems are escalating. Veteran Os du Randt is the latest to join a growing list of injured Bok front-rowers.
Already on the injury list are tighthead CJ van der Linde (broken leg) and loosehead Gurthro Steenkamp (arm). It was revealed on Wednesday that form tighthead BJ Botha has to undergo a neck operation. Now Bok talisman Os du Randt has been added to that list.
It means White has potentially lost his top two players in each of the tighthead and loosehead positions for the opening match of the year against the World XV at Ellis Park. That will be a major worry for the Bok mentor ahead of the most hectic international season the Springboks have ever embarked on.
“BJ will undergo a neck operation and won’t join the training camp,” Bok media manager, Rayaan Adriaanse, told Die Volksblad. It is now expected that Botha will miss the Tests against Scotland and France as well as the Tri-Nations series, Die Volksblad reported.
It is a major blow for Botha who has been in terrific form this season for the Sharks and his debut in the Bok jersey was eagerly awaited by fans across the country.
Du Randt could not train on Thursday because of his knee injury. He was taken to hospital on for X-rays. “I hope his injury is not serious,” White said in Volksblad.
Du Randt’s knee is swollen and he will be in a race against time to play against the World Team at Ellis Park on June 3. The combination of the injuries prevented the Boks from trying out their new scrum machine, which arrived from Sydney on Thursday.
The Springbok forwards coach, Gert Smal said the machine will be used to improve the Boks timing and to get their feet-positioning right.
The Enforcer scrum machine has been designed to accommodate the tall and big Bok front row comprising Du Randt, John Smit and Van der Linde.