Boks looking light at lock

The Springboks are already without suspended lock Bakkies Botha but injuries to Andries Bekker and Danie Roussow present a significant problem.

Botha was handed a two-week ban on Monday morning and coach Peter de Villiers said they will study the incident report fully before deciding to appeal.

Conditioning coach Neels Liebel told Bekker and Rossouw are being monitored closely and a decision on their inclusion will also be made at a later stage.

‘Danie took a knock to the head in Saturday’s match and we will reassess him later in the week. Andries has a small tear in the cartillage of his knee and will see a specialist later [on Monday].

‘We had two other injury concerns with Jean de Villiers injuring his AC joint and Fourie du Preez complaining about a shoulder problem. It is the same injury he picked up in the Super 14. Both players will see the specialist but we are confident they will be ready for this Saturday.’

De Villiers told this website he believes there is enough depth in this country to ensure the Bok second row remains competitive.

‘We have no control over injuries, but we do have a lot of talent in this country. Those players are just a phone call away. It’s a case of one down, plenty to go.

‘If we try to replace people like Schalk Burger, John Smit and Bakkies Botha, we would be lost. We have to look at each player individually and look at their attirbutes, and then we have to change our tactics accordingly.

‘There are a lot of Bulls’ players right up the road that could fill the gaps,’ the Bok coach added.

By Jon Cardinelli, in Johannesburg