South Africa
Du Preez added to Springboks' growing injury list
June 30, 2015
Fourie du Preez has spent the last few season in Japan's Top league © Getty Images

The pre-Rugby World Cup injury woes of South Africa have increased with star half-back Fourie du Preez sidelined for between four and six weeks.

A Johannesburg media briefing was told that the 2007 World Cup-winner suffered a knee ligament injury last week while training with Japanese club Suntory Goliath. Du Preez is just one of a host of injury concerns for the Springboks ahead of the Rugby Championship with 15 players from a 48-man squad struggling with a varied range of problems.

"Every effort will be made to ensure as many of the injured players get game time before we finalise the squad for the Rugby World Cup," Springboks team doctor Craig Roberts said. "Obviously we would've liked to have a squad with fully fit players available, but we have to play the hand we are dealt and will work with all of these players individually over the coming weeks.

"Players will be managed individually and we could send them back to their provinces to get game time, but that will be done in consultation with the unions and only when necessary."

South Africa begin a five-match countdown to the World Cup in England during September and October by playing a World XV on July 11 in Cape Town. Rugby Championship fixtures away to Australia (July 18) and at home to New Zealand (July 25) and Argentina (August 8) follow.

An away Test against Argentina on August 15 concludes the Springboks' match preparations ahead of a quadrennial tournament they have won twice.

Du Preez, 33, has confined his non-Test career to Japan since the 2011 World Cup, not playing in Super Rugby But he remains a favourite of coach Heyneke Meyer, receiving international call-ups in the past two seasons.

South Africa will choose three World Cup scrum-halves with Du Preez a certainty if fit and Ruan Pienaar, Cobus Reinach, Faf de Klerk and Rudy Paige contesting the other slots. The Springboks are in Pool B at the World Cup with Japan, Samoa, Scotland and the United States.


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