SA latest – Akona fails fitness test

Keo.co.za brings you news from South Africa’s Super Rugby franchises.

Akona fails fitness test – Akona Ndungane has pulled out of the Bulls’ game against the Waratahs with injury. Ndungane will be replaced on the wing by Gerhard van den Heever, while Stephen Dippenaar will come onto the bench.

In other Bulls news, hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle has extended his stay with Bulls until the end of 2013. The Bulls are set to lose Gary Botha at the end of the season but will be boosted by Ralepelle’s re-signing as well as the recruitment of Clermont and former Lions hooker Willie Wepenaar.

Late change for Lions – Cobus Grobbelaar has returned to South Africa following a death in his family.

Grobbelaar will not feature in Saturday’s match against the Hurricanes, and so coach John Mitchell has been forced to make changes to his back row. Warren Whiteley will start at No 8 with Josh Strauss shifting to blindside flank, and Derick Minnie moving to openside.

Jaco Kriel will arrive in New Zealand this afternoon and take Whiteley’s place on the bench.