Peter de Villiers faces a midfield selection poser with the return to fitness of Adi Jacobs.
Jacobs was set to start the Boks’ opening Tri-Nations Test against New Zealand, but was sent home last Monday evening with a quad injury. Bok team doctor Craig Roberts said on Monday Jacobs is now fully fit and will be considered for selection for the King’s Park fixture.
‘Andries Bekker is again available to us, as is Adi,’ Roberts told keo.co.za. ‘Andries has completed his rehab and Adi had his final agility session this morning.’
Roberts was also positive regarding those players carrying niggles from Bloemfontein’s 28-19 victory.
‘Everyone came through training relatively well. With Jean de Villiers’s injury, the commentators made it out to be worse than it actually is. He hasn’t played in a while and it was just some cramp,’ said Roberts.
Ruan Pienaar remains the biggest concern, but Roberts said he is showing good signs of progress.
‘Bismarck du Plessis had a mild ankle strain, but is fine. Ruan has a grade one ankle sprain, but he completed training by doing some straight line running. I am optimistic he will be available.’
If fit, coach De Villiers faces another difficult task of deciding who will start in the No 10 jersey. Pienaar had a more convincing all-round display in the 40 minutes he was on the field, but crucially missed 11 points with the boot. Morne Steyn replaced Pienaar for the second half and kicked three penalties.
De Villiers said he wouldn’t start with Pienaar if he isn’t 100% fit.
‘I’ll take my cue from the doctor, but there is more to rugby than running in a straight line. If I do put him on the field I may do more damage to him in the future,’ said De Villiers.
When asked whether Steyn could start due to Pienaar’s poor goal-kicking, De Villiers replied: ‘Maybe.’
By Grant Ball, in Durban