Matfield, Du Preez in doubt for Boks

Date published: September 30 2015

The Springboks face a captaincy dilemma following the news that lock Victor Matfield and scrum-half Fourie du Preez are both injury doubts ahead of Saturday's crunch Pool B game against Scotland.

As vice-captain, 38-year-old Matfield was the natural replacement for injured skipper Jean de Villiers, who has been ruled out of the tournament with a broken jaw suffered against Samoa last week.

But Matfield is struggling with a hamstring strain and must prove his fitness Wednesday while Du Preez, another key member of South Africa's brain's trust, has a rib injury. 

As result, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has delayed naming his team and captain for the clash in Newcastle until 17.00 (local time) on Wednesday. 

Loose forward Schalk Burger, who captained the Boks against the All Blacks this year, is the most likely candidate to lead the side if Matfield is not fit. 

A number of other injuries also resulted in the cancellation of Monday's training session and centre Damian de Allende remains in doubt, meaning that newly-called up Jan Serfontein, who only joined the team on Monday, may be thrust straight into the starting XV. 

Prop Jannie du Plessis is also struggling with a knee injury but his brother Bismarck du Plessis, who was dropped after giving away a lot of penalties in the shock defeat to Japan, is expected to return via the bench.