Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids mentioned on Monday that it was doubtful whether Damian Willemse will be included in the Springbok squad. Willemse took a heavy knock to his head and was not able to return to the field due to a failed head impact assessment. Willemse must go through a World Rugby return to play protocol. He added that the injury was very unfortunate as the coaches were looking forward to seeing what the player had on offer.
“At this stage, Damian Willemse, he came off the field with concussion, will need to go through the seven-day protocol so he might be in doubt for this weekend,” Davids said in an injury update on Monday.
“Other than that, we are fine. Everybody is available and ready for training today.”
“The plan coming into this tour was to build momentum and also to look at key positions where we can build depth and give guys an opportunity to gain experience.”
“It was a chance to see him performing under such competitive situations in terms of where he is and what he can bring for us going forward. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for him, but we know he is a talented guy and he will bounce back and things will work out better for him going forward.”
Davids confirmed that Sbu Nkosi has also joined the rest of the squad on Sunday.
The team was announced today. Willemse does miss out because he has to follow concussion return to play protocols.
Coach Jacques Nienaber made two rotational switches and that injury enforced change to the starting side to take on Scotland in Edinburgh on Saturday. Franco Mostert comes in at lock and Elton Jantjies earns a run at flyhalf, with both Lood de Jager and Handré Pollard moving to the replacements bench. Willie Le Roux has been named to take over at fullback from Willemse.
The match will also be memorable for Frans Steyn, who will edge Victor Matfield as the player with the longest Springbok career by becoming the first South African to play Test rugby over 15 calendar years, should he take the field. Other milestones will see Mostert and Jesse Kriel earn their 50th Test caps.
Springbok team to face Scotland in Edinburgh:
15 – Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz) – 70 caps, 60 pts (12t)
14 – Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles) – 49 caps, 60 pts (12t)
13 – Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks) – 24 caps, 25 pts (5t)
12 – Damian de Allende (Munster) – 56 caps, 35 pts (7t)
11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks) – 23 caps, 85 pts (17t)
10 – Elton Jantjies (NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes) – 42 caps, 312 pts (2t, 64c, 57p, 1d)
9 – Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers) – 19 caps, 25 pts (5t)
8 – Duane Vermeulen (Ulster) – 59 caps, 15 pts (3t)
7 – Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo) – 17 caps, 5 pts (1t)
6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks) – 61 caps, 30 pts (6t)
5 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 49 caps, 5pts (1t)
4 – Eben Etzebeth (Toulon) – 95 caps, 15 pts (3t)
3 – Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls) – 52 caps, 5pts (1t)
2 – Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks) – 46 caps, 45 pts (9t)
1 – Ox Nché (Cell C Sharks) – 7 caps, 0pts
16 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) – 44 caps, 50 pts (10t)
17 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers) – 57 caps, 5pts (1t)
18 – Vincent Koch (Saracens) – 29 caps, 0 pts
19 – Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks) – 54 caps, 25 pts (5t)
20 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) – 9 caps, 0 pts
21 – Cobus Reinach (Montpellier) – 19 caps, 40pts (8t)
22 – Handré Pollard (Montpellier) – 58 caps, 580 pts (6t, 83c, 124p, 4d)
23 – Frans Steyn (Toyota Cheetahs) – 72 caps, 144pts (11t, 7c, 22p, 3d)
Photo SA Rugby
Reporting by Fatima Said