Victor Matfield’s ankle has given in and he won’t be playing against the World XV in a week’s time.
Matfield, who was an unlikely starter until injury forced out John Smit, hurt his ankle at training and because of the injury he will not be considered for the match or the captaincy.
To qualify this, so as to not confuse anyone, Matfield was never going to play in the World XV game. However, when Smit became unavailable, thought was given to playing Matfield and making him captain.
This won’t happen now.
Wikus van Heerden or AJ Venter now look certain to captain the Boks in a non-international against a team that is loaded with players a year or two past their best.
Matfield’s injury means the following won’t be available because of injury: Os du Randt, John Smit, CJ van der Linde, BJ Botha, Bakkies Botha, Matfield, Pedrie Wannenburg, Andre Pretorius, Butch James, Marius Joubert, Tonderai Chavhanga and Bryan Habana. That’s almost an entire team.
The Boks will play a practise match against a Free State university combination later on Friday and at this rate a few more will probably break down.