Burton blow for Emerging Boks

Burton Francis will not play against the British & Irish Lions and Louis Ludik is also in doubt after injuring his knee in Wednesday’s match.

Emerging Boks coach Dick Muir confirmed the news on Francis who has just undergone a knee operation and is thus unavailable. Ludik was stretchered from the field in the Golden Lions’ 74-10 defeat to the northern tourists, and could now miss a further opportunity to face the British & Irish Lions.

‘Louis’s knee injury is quite bad and we are just hoping he’ll be alright by that Emerging Boks match,’ Muir told keo.co.za. ‘We’ve already lost Burton so we’re hoping Louis is okay.’

Earl Rose will also feature in the 23 June clash at Newlands. Rose was supposed to play against the Lions on Wednesday but was pulled by Peter de Villiers as the Bok management felt the utility player would be wasted on the Golden Lions’ bench.

‘Earl’s the kind of player you want to use for the full 80,’ explained Muir. ‘We thought it would benefit us more to have him training with us that sitting on the bench [for the Golden Lions].’

Muir will juggle the head coaching responsibilities with his existing duty as Bok backline mentor. He said it wouldn’t be a problem.

‘It’s a great honour and a challenge. We will bring the Emerging Boks into the [senior] camp in Durban on Wednesday [before the first Test] and work with them until Saturday.

‘It’s not a lot of time but this is a quality team. It will give me an opportunity to work with these players and find out what they’re about. It also gives them a chance to be exposed to the Bok structures and build some continuity in the long term.’

By Jon Cardinelli, in Johannesburg