Fresh blow for Spring­boks as Smit suf­fers in­jury

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

South Africa flanker Roelof Smit is likely to miss the rest of the tour of Europe af­ter he suf­fered a sus­pected torn bi­cep yes­ter­day.

The 23-year-old sus­tained the in­jury while at­tempt­ing a tackle dur­ing train­ing with the Spring­boks in Lon­don and is await­ing the re­sults of a scan, but looks set to be ruled out of South Africa’s Tests against Eng­land, Italy and Wales.

It is an­other blow for South Africa af­ter Jesse Kriel was ruled out of the three Tests with a leg in­jury sus­tained dur­ing Satur­day’s 31-31 Wem­b­ley draw with the Bar­bar­ians. Kriel has been re­placed by Ro­han Janse van Rens­burg for the re­main­der of the tour and coach Al­lis­ter Coet­zee must now find an­other re­place­ment for Smit. “He’s at the hospi­tal and we are await­ing the re­sult of a scan but it looks like a pos­si­bil­ity he might lose out on the rest of the tour,” Coet­zee said. “It could be a bi­cep tear. We’ll get con­fir­ma­tion but it might be the end of his tour. He was at­tempt­ing a tackle and there was a hy­per­ex­ten­sion of the arm.” He added: “We have an open­side cri­sis in the coun­try. “Fran­cois Louw, Jaco Kriel, Hein­rich Brus­sow and oth­ers aren’t avail­able, but I’m com­fort­able we have cover.” Coet­zee is un­der pres­sure fol­low­ing South Africa’s re­cent poor run of re­sults, in­clud­ing a record 57-15 de­feat by New Zealand last month. They needed two late tries to force a draw with the Bar­bar­ians and will be un­der­dogs when they take on Eng­land at Twick­en­ham this week­end. But South Africa have not lost to Eng­land since 2006 and Coet­zee is boosted by the ar­rival of sev­eral of his more ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers, in­clud­ing JP Pi­etersen, Bryan Ha­bana and War­ren White­ley, who all joined up with the squad on Sun­day.

“A week is a long time in rugby. We feel like we started last night, we had a full com­ple­ment of the Spring­boks team at our first team meet­ing,” Coet­zee said. “You get the feel­ing it’s a big week, the start of the so-called of­fi­cial tour. We are rar­ing to go.

“We are def­i­nitely the un­der­dogs, we are play­ing the sec­ond-best team in the world who are on a nine-game win­ning streak. “They won all three Tests in Aus­tralia so there is a lot of con­fi­dence in the English side.”

LON­DON: South Africa’s Roelof Smit scores their sec­ond try dur­ing the Kil­lik Cup rugby match South Africa ver­sus Bar­bar­ians at Wem­b­ley Sta­dium, Lon­don, Satur­day. Smit is likely to miss the rest of the tour of Europe af­ter he suf­fered a sus­pected torn bi­cep yes­ter­day. —AP

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