Boks dealt unlucky hand

Jaque Fourie has been ruled out of the Springbok tour to Ireland and England due to a broken hand.

Springbok media manager Vusi Kama confirmed that Fourie damaged the metacarpals in his left hand at this morning’s training session, and will be out of action for the next six weeks. Bryan Habana has since been named as the official replacement.

This may open the door for Lions centre Jaco Pretorius, who could now link up with Jean de Villiers in the midfield, and allow Habana to come in on the wing.

Pretorius had been training out on the right wing for the past week, where it seemed he would make his debut. With Fourie crocked, Pretorius may now have the opportunity to make an impression in his favourite position of outside centre.

Bok Coach Jake White may also consider playing Wynand Olivier alongside De Villiers. Butch James at inside centre with De Villiers on the outside seems a stretch, but is nevertheless another option.

The selection of Habana is a curious one, as the original plan was to rest him for this tour. Now that he has been brought back into the fray, it will be interesting to see whether White fast tracks him straight into the starting side to play Ireland on 11 November in Dublin.

Fourie joins loose forward Pedrie Wannenburg on the injured list of Bok players who were initially selected for the tour. However, while Wannenburg was not replaced, Habana was called up immediately after it was confirmed that Fourie would not tour.