Daily Dispatch

Injured Louw has Coetzee thinking


THE Springboks’ will go into their November tour to Britain and Italy without one of their most senior and influentia­l forwards.

Openside flank Francois Louw has been ruled out for 10 weeks according to his English club side Bath.

The 31-year-old Louw‚ who has played 52 Tests for the Boks‚ sustained a hamstring injury early in the final Rugby Championsh­ip match of the 2016 campaign against the All Blacks in Durban earlier this month.

The veteran flank returned for club duty but after medical assessment­s was ruled out for close to three months.

“He’s picked up a hamstring injury tackling for the ball‚” Bath first-team coach Darren Edwards told the BBC.

“It certainly has an impact on our numbers.

“With [Wales internatio­nal] Taulupe Faletau out as well in a similar situation‚ that’s a world-class backrow that’s not in our team at the moment.”

Coach Allister Coetzee will name his Bok touring party after Saturday’s Currie Cup final and there will be a lot of head-scratching about a replacemen­t for Louw.

Jaco Kriel has not impressed in his brief Test appearance­s and so Coetzee might be forced to have a wider look at candidates for the crucial position.

The 30-year-old Heinrich Brüssow is an option.

He has been playing for the Docomo Red Hurricanes in Japan and would be a worthy replacemen­t given his unique ability to pilfer ball.

Brüssow has played 22 Tests for the Boks and is still regarded as a superb poacher. — TMG Digital

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