Sbu Nkosi. (Photo by Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images)
The Springboks have delayed the call-ups of winger Sbu Nkosi and flanker Marco van Staden after the duo suffered injuries playing in the URC on Sunday.
Both players sustained rib injuries in the Bulls’ clash with the Sharks in Pretoria, which the hosts won 40-27.
Nkosi and Van Staden were last week named in a 35-man Springbok squad for their outgoing tour to Europe. They were scheduled to board a flight to Dublin on Sunday night but were forced to remain in South Africa for scans and medical assessments.
On their year-end tour, the Boks will play Tests against Ireland (Dublin, 5 November), France (Marseille, 12 November), Italy (Genoa, 19 November) and England (London, 26 November).
The SA A side will also play games against Munster (Cork, 10 November) and Bristol Bears (Bristol, 17 November).
“We’ll wait for the outcome of their medical scans and once we know how serious it is we’ll decide if they will join the squad and if so, when. Fortunately, we have sufficient cover at loose forward and among the outside backs to allow us to train fully and select a quality team,” Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby’s director of rugby, said in a statement.
Boks on tour: Squads
Props: Thomas du Toit (Sharks), Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Vincent Koch (Stade Francais), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Ox Nche (Sharks), Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92)
Hookers: Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears), Bongi Mbonambi (Sharks)
Locks: Lood de Jager (Wild Knights), Eben Etzebeth (Sharks), Jason Jenkins (Leinster), Salmaan Moerat, Marvin Orie (both Stormers)
Loose forwards: Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz), Siya Kolisi (Sharks), Evan Roos (Stormers), Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs), Marco van Staden (Bulls), Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers)
Utility forwards: Deon Fourie (Stormers), Franco Mostert (Honda Heat)
Scrumhalves: Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles), Jaden Hendrikse (Sharks), Cobus Reinach (Montpellier)
Flyhalves: Manie Libbok, Damian Willemse (both Stormers)
Centres: Damian de Allende (Wild Knights), Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins), Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles)
Outside backs: Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz), Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks), Sbu Nkosi (Bulls)
Utility backs: Kurt-Lee Arendse (Bulls), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulon), Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (Stormers)
SA A squad:
Forwards: Simphiwe Matanzima (Bulls), Ntuthuko Mchunu (Sharks), Sazi Sandi (Stormers), Mornay Smith (Bulls), Jan-Hendrik Wessels (Bulls), Joseph Dweba (Stormers), Andre-Hugo Venter (Stormers), Ruan Nortje (Bulls), Phepsi Buthelezi (Sharks), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (Sharks)
Backs: Herschel Jantjies (Stormers), Sanele Nohamba (Lions), Grant Williams (Sharks), Johan Goosen (Bulls), Gianni Lombard (Lions), Aphelele Fassi (Sharks), Cornal Hendricks (Bulls), Suleiman Hartzenberg (Stormers), Henco van Wyk (Lions)
Meanwhile, the main Springbok touring group arrived in Dublin late on Sunday night after their flight from Johannesburg to Dubai en route to Dublin was delayed by close to five hours, which resulted in a lengthy layover in Dubai before they flew to Dublin.
The travelling squad joined the other 11 players (the Stormers’ URC players and the European and UK-based players) who arrived in Dublin on Sunday afternoon, while Cheslin Kolbe joined the team on Monday morning following Toulon’s 27-26 defeat against Bordeaux in the French Top 14 on Sunday night.
The Springbok coaches were forced to make a few changes to their Monday programme due to the flight delay to ensure that the players recover sufficiently from the long journey.
“We are pleased to be in Dublin, and thanks to the swift planning from our operations team following the announcement that our flight to Dubai was delayed and the resultant longer layover in Dubai, we were able to ensure that the players remained as comfortable as possible throughout the journey,” said Erasmus.
“The entire squad with the exception of the injured players and Cheslin reported for duty in Dublin on Sunday night and despite a few changes to our programme, we have a full training day on Monday.”
Bok head coach Jacques Nienaber added that efficient planning and the fact that Springbok assistant coach Felix Jones has been in Dublin since late last week made matters simpler for the rest of the coaching contingent.
“We were very fortunate that Felix joined the squad on Sunday as he had a golden opportunity to work with the Stormers and overseas-based players on some detail while the rest of us were travelling,” said Nienaber.
“We allowed the players additional recovery time on Monday morning to ensure that they are fresh when we take the field in our afternoon training session so we can leap straight into the thick of things.
“This is a massive Test for us as Ireland are the No 1 team in the world and we are also facing them in the pool stages of next year’s Rugby World Cup, so every minute of preparation time on and off the field counts.”
Nienaber will name his team for the Test against Ireland on Tuesday.
Saturday’s match in Dublin kicks off at 19:30 (SA time).