Bryan Habana and Andries Bekker sustained ankle injuries that threatens to keep them out of the Test against Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday.
The duo rolled their ankles at Newlands on Saturday. Neither trained on Monday and they will be assessed later in the week to determine their availability. Bekker’s condition in particular will be of grave concern. He excelled at lineout time and his general play was very good. Heyneke Meyer had hoped to extract the best from the injury-plagued lock in the Rugby Championship, with a view to adequately filling the void left by Victor Matfield.
The Springboks’ injury toll has mounted progressively, with a clutch of senior players unavailable to Meyer. He, however, refused to lament their loss too much. ‘It’s difficult to lose guys like Pierre Spies and JP Pietersen before a big tournament like this. Between them they have almost 100 Test caps. It will be a big blow if Bryan and Andries cant play,’ he said.
‘But I think we have enough cover if we need it. There’s some great players coming forward and if they get the opportunity they must take it. The only way they’ll gain experience is by playing. The nice thing is that we’re building a big base of cover if the [incumbents] go down.’
There were no other injury concerns, but there was news on Bismarck du Plessis’ condition. The hooker seriously injured his knee early in Saturday’s Test and will undergo surgery in Cape Town on Tuesday. He is expected to be sidelined for eight months, ruling him out of all rugby for the remainder of 2012.
Adriaan Strauss will start in Du Plessis’ absence and Meyer professed his faith in the Cheetahs man.
‘Adriaan’s had a great Super Rugby tournament. He’s proved himself this year as one of the top hookers in the world. He has not played for a few weeks because the Cheetahs did not reach the playoffs, but I think he was awesome on Saturday,’ said Meyer.