Arendse and Moodie to miss first Ireland Test

4
Arendse and Moodie to miss first Ireland Test
Arendse and Moodie to miss first Ireland Test

Africa-Press – South-Africa. Siya Kolisi remains in the frame to retain captain’s armband after Wales clash

The Springboks will be without Kurt-Lee Arendse and Canan Moodie when their two-Test series against Ireland kicks off at Loftus Versfeld on July 6.

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus confirmed Arendse (fractured cheekbone) and Moodie (fractured index finger) will also play no part in the team’s opening Test of the year next weekend against Wales at Twickenham.

Arendse’s loss is huge. He has been South Africa’s form player in the United Rugby Championship.

The Springboks’ back three may be completely stripped of the personnel who started the Rugby World Cup (RWC) final in Paris last October should Cheslin Kolbe not recover in time from a knee niggle for next weekend’s clash. Fullback Damian Willemse has already been ruled out of the clashes against Wales and Ireland.

Marx back in the middle

Hooker Malcolm Marx, who suffered a knee ligament injury in training before the Springboks’ second match at last year’s RWC match against Romania, has an outside chance of playing next weekend, but his return to match combat will have to be carefully managed.

“A guy like Malcolm is a guy you probably want to manage more, with the other hookers around. You have to think carefully because you want to see some new blood playing, but you also don’t want what happened in 2018 where we blooded a lot of guys but we lost the Test match. We want to win the Test match, we want to manage some guys getting back from injury and we want to blood some youngsters,” said Erasmus, who is hoping to avoid the defeat the Boks suffered against Wales, also on neutral ground, in his first Test in charge in 2018.

“It is a bit of a balancing act, but as the week goes on, we will get clarity. OK, Malcolm can play in that game, OK, Cheslin, we have to manage him. Putting them in cotton wool, well, they won’t be match fit and battle ready for Ireland. Wales is certainly no pushover, as we have experienced in the past.”

Door open

Erasmus left the door open for Bulls players should the Pretoria team lose their United URC semifinal against Leinster on Saturday.

“In certain positions, yes definitely. If you look at the squad we have currently, we are going to announce our team internally on Sunday so the guys, specially the new guys in the team, can get settled before we fly out on Wednesday.

“In certain positions in the team, there will be a few new guys next to each other. Then some of the Bulls guys who understand what we want to do and how we want to play, and where we want to change a few things, some of them have been in the alignment camps.

“I don’t think everybody who will be involved for the Ireland Test matches will get drafted in for the Welsh Test match for the pure fact they haven’t really trained with us. But there is a lot of experience and we already have a few injuries.”

Given the injuries in the back three, 93-capped Willie le Roux will be a serious consideration for the Wales Test should the Bulls bow out of the URC on Saturday.

On the long mend

Erasmus also confirmed the long-term injuries to Steven Kitshoff, Lood de Jager, Jean Kleyn, Lean-Luc du Preez and uncapped Henco van Wyk who attended some alignment camps.

He said Bongi Mbonambi, Pieter-Steph du Toit or Eben Etzebeth will captain the Springboks against Wales next Saturday, while Paris-based Siya Kolisi remains in the frame for the captain’s armband thereafter.

“ Inside the team the captaincy is not such a big thing. Obviously, a long-term permanent captain is something. We’re going into this Wales Test without Siya and without seeing how Siya is going to come back from France. We’ll need to assess him and see how he slots into things. We have two weeks after the Wales Test match.”

For More News And Analysis About South-Africa Follow Africa-Press

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here