Smit setback for Springboks

Date published: November 7 2016

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Roelof Smit will miss the remainder of the Springboks’ November Tour after the young Vodacom Blue Bulls flanker sustained a torn pectoral muscle at training on Monday.

The uncapped Smit played for the Springboks on Saturday against the Barbarians at Wembley, an international fixture for which no Test caps were awarded. He was one of the standout players and scored one of the Boks’ five tries in the 31-31 draw.

Smit will be replaced by Uzair Cassiem, the Free State Cheetahs loose forward, who impressed during his two weeks with the Springboks in England.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said the injury news was very disappointing for the young player, who was one of a handful uncapped players in the squad. Smit and Jesse Kriel (lower leg) will fly back to South Africa on Monday evening.

Coetzee hinted that the Springboks will now have to improvise with the selection of the South African loose trio combination for this Saturday’s important clash at Twickenham against England.

“We are already without the services of several open side flankers who are either injured of not available,” explained Coetzee.

“Francois Louw, Jaco Kriel and Marcell Coetzee are all injured while the likes of Heinrich Brüssow and Schalk Burger are not available."

The Springboks had their first training session of the week at the Latymer Upper School, and some of the players did not participate because of various niggles.

Wing Bryan Habana who played for his French club side on Sunday, has a troublesome knee and he is doubtful for this weekend’s fixture.

Other players who sat out the training session with minor niggles were Pieter-Steph du Toit (lock), Vincent Koch (prop), Willie le Roux (fullback) and JP Pietersen (wing). Wing Ruan Combrinck completed the training session without difficulty.

The Springbok side to play England at Twickenham will be named on Thursday

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