Spies ruled out of Tests Down Under

Injured Springboks Pierre Spies and Zane Kirchner will miss the away leg of the Tri-Nations while Peter de Villiers is hoping that CJ van der Linde recovers from an injury to take his place in the 28-man squad.

Spies and Kirchner were not among the group of 27 announced on Friday, as De Villiers confirmed that they are unfit to tour. Because the touring party is short on props and Coenie Oosthuizen is carrying an ankle injury, Van der Linde could become the 28th man if he passes a fitness test on Monday.

Spies has recently returned from a holiday in Italy, and underwent a full medical assessment upon his return. De Villiers said that the Bok medical team had found that Spies is carrying a groin injury, and so can’t be considered for the away Tests against Australia and New Zealand.

De Villiers feels that Kirchner’s shoulder injury is not serious, but that he should not be risked. He said that he would rather that Spies and Kirchner rehabilitate in South Africa than risk further injury in Australasia.

Van der Linde is also carrying a groin niggle and will undergo a full assessment on Monday. De Villiers said that if he comes through that test, he will be taken on tour. He stood by his belief that captain John Smit should not be used as a prop.

‘John is a hooker,’ he said. ‘He can cover at prop, but we only want to use him as a hooker for this tour.’

Saru CEO Jurie Roux was also present at the announcement and said that tighthead Brian Mujati, who played for the Boks in 2008, wasn’t considered because he’s not a South African citizen. Neither Roux nor De Villiers were able to say whether Mujati will have his citizenship sorted out before the World Cup.

Meanwhile, Heinrich Brussow is coming back from a serious injury and will be rushed right back into Test rugby without first obtaining match practice at a lower level. De Villiers said that he needs to phase Brussow in sooner rather than later.

‘For me, he’s a timebomb. If I had the power not to play him, I wouldn’t play him. But he is a very important player for the World Cup and I will need to phase him in on this tour.’

As reported by keo.co.za on Friday, Johann Muller picked up a hamstring injury in this week’s training. The injury is not so bad that the big Ulster lock won’t be able to tour.

Springbok touring squad - Gio Aplon, Bjorn Basson, Heinrich Brussow, Juan de Jongh, Jean Deysel, Dean Greyling, Alistair Hargreaves, Adrian Jacobs, Elton Jantjies, Ashley Johnson, Ryan Kankowski, Werner Kruger, Patrick Lambie, Charl McLeod, Johann Muller, Lwazi Mvovo, Odwa Ndungane, Wynand Olivier, Coenie Oosthuizen, Ruan Pienaar, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Danie Rossouw, John Smit (c), Deon Stegmann, Morne Steyn, Adriaan Strauss, Flip van der Merwe, CJ van der Linde.