Injuries force Boks cancellation

South Africa coach Jake White was forced to cancel his team's practice session after a spate of injuries left him without enough players to work with. [more]

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South Africa coach Jake White was forced to cancel his team’s practice session after a spate of injuries left him without enough players to work with.

The Springboks did train in the morning but decided against the afternoon session when loose forwards Juan Smith, Jacques Cronje and Joe van Niekerk, as well as midfielder Jean de Villiers, pulled out with injuries.

It was a real setback for the Bok coach, who is desperate to make the most of every minute to prepare his team for next weekend’s Tri-Nations clash against New Zealand in Pretoria.

Fly-half Andre Pretorius (calf) and lock Danie Rossouw (hamstring) will remain with the squad after undergoing scans on their respective injuries.

White did not make any announcement on the pair despite saying he would a day earlier.

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"Juan Smith tweaked his hamstring, Jean de Villiers got a bump on his right leg, Jacques Cronje twisted his ankle and Joe van Niekerk has a calf strain," White told journalists.

"Andre will stay with us until Monday and we’ll assess him then. There is nothing we can do between now and Monday, and we’ll make a call whether to keep him on or bring someone else in.

"At this point in time, he can’t run or do anything so it would be pointless releasing him to his union because I don’t think it will benefit anybody.

"Danie is still undergoing treatment on his hamstring and still feels the pain. Again there will be no call made until Monday.

"He might be okay to start training on Monday but then he won’t be match fit or fit enough to last a Test match."

White blames his latest injury crisis on the amount of rugby being played at present.

"It shows you again that the players playing over and over, they are fatigued," he said.

"It is a little bit frustrating because the more we put in, the more we risk players getting to their point of breakdown.

"We were going to train this afternoon (Wednesday), again purely because we are running out of players to put onto the field."

The Boks will face the All Blacks twice in two weeks before ending the Tri-Nations a week later against Australia at Ellis Park.

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