Jean ruled out of WP semi

Jean de Villiers will miss Saturday’s semi-final at Ellis Park because of injury.

De Viilliers sustained a grade one hamstring strain in training and will be replaced by Marcel Brache at inside centre. Deon Fourie will assume the captaincy in De Villiers’ absence. The Springboks captain will be sidelined for three weeks, and isn’t considered in danger of missing the year-end tour.

De Villiers is the third WP Bok to go down with injury in the space of a week. As reported on Monday, Bok forwards Andries Bekker (toe) and Tiaan Liebenberg (back) have been ruled out for the rest of the year with injuries.

De Kock Steenkamp will manage the lineout from the No 5 position, while hooker Scarra Ntubeni gets his big chance in a play-off match.

These changes see lock Wilhelm van der Sluys filling the void on the bench, while prop Deon Carstens is also added to the reserves. The latter selection means that openside flank Fourie, who played the majority of his rugby at hooker until recently, will replace Ntubeni in the event of injury.

In other changes, Gio Aplon replaces Joe Pietersen at fullback, with the latter dropping to the bench. Aplon featured in the match 22 last week, but wasn’t considered for the starting side because he had just returned from an ankle injury. According to WP management, he is now ready to start.

WP – 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Marcel Brache, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Don Armand, 6 Deon Fourie (c), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Subs: 16 Deon Carstens, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 19 Jebb Sinclair, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Damian de Allende, 22 Joe Pietersen.