Boks sweat on Alberts

Date published: September 28 2015

Springbok loose forward Willem Alberts could join injured former captain Jean de Villiers on a plane back to South Africa if he fails a fitness test on Monday.

The Sharks behemoth was named to start against Japan but injured his calf in the captain's run on the Friday before South Africa's shock loss to the Brave Blossoms.

Alberts has been on the sidelines ever since and faces a crucial fitness test on Monday which will determine whether he stays in England or returns home.

"Willem we will assess on Monday and make a call for the weekend," confirmed team doctor Craig Roberts.  

"He has been cycling and we've been working hard with him so Monday will be the big day to make a decision on him. We need to make a decision on whether he will be available or not. We are getting there."

Should Alberts fail the test, coach Heyneke Meyer has a plethora of loose forwards to choose from, including Marcel Coetzee, Heinrich Brussow and Oupa Mahoje.

Other injury concerns include centres Jesse Kriel – who took a nasty gash to the cheekbone – Damien de Allende, who strained his knee, and veteran prop Jannie du Plessis who also has a knee strain.

"We'll keep him out of contact during the week but those facial injuries usually settle quickly and I anticipate he will be fine for the weekend," said Roberts of Kriel. 

"Damian has got a very mild medial collateral strain but I think he will be alright for the weekend."

Meanwhile, Roberts was not too concerned about du Plessis' injury and backed him to play on Saturday against Scotland. 

"It is the same knee, it is not a recurrence but a new injury," he added.

"What I look for is instability and he doesn't have instability on that knee which is a good sign. I am quietly confident that he will be available for the weekend."