Boks injury concerns deepen

JP Pietersen has sustained a groin strain that threatens to rule him out of Saturday’s Test against England, while CJ van der Linde and Gurthro Steenkamp limped off at Monday’s training session.

Pietersen picked up the injury at Murrayfield on and will be carefully managed this week before a call is made on him. He won’t train on Monday and team doctor Craig Roberts refused to speculate on his potential availability.

The squad is laden with left wings, but Meyer says he has enough quality in reserve to cover on the right. ‘JP is obviously a quality player who we hope we’ll have available, but there are options.’

Lwazi Mvovo ran on the right wing in Pietersen’s absence.

Van der Linde returned to the sideline at the Hammersmith training ground with his thigh heavily strapped, while Steenkamp appeared to be walking gingerly but didn’t look too seriously hurt. The other fit props in the squad include Frans Malherbe (tighthead), Heinke van der Merwe (loosehead) and Pat Cilliers, who has played both sides of the scrum for the Lions.

In other team news Juan de Jongh looks set to retain his place in midfield. He ran ahead of Jaco Taute, whose size and strength would be an appealing counter to England’s hard-running Manu Tuilagi.

‘Its important to get some continuity, especially since we’ve seldom had that luxury. The All Blacks can do that because they’ve built the depth over four or more years. But I want to give the guys confidence and keep a relatively settled side,’ Meyer said.