Rugby Championship
Springboks count cost of Wallabies opener
ESPN Staff
July 20, 2015
Jean de Villiers of South Africa during the match between South Africa and World VX
Jean de Villiers of South Africa during the match between South Africa and World VX© Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images

South Africa face a nervous wait after it emerged four key players are in doubt for the vital Rugby Championship fixture against New Zealand in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Victor Matfield and Marcell Coetzee were forced to leave the field in last Saturday's dramatic loss against Australia, with captain Matfield nursing a hamstring strain and flanker Coetzee struggling after a knock to his knee. Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts said a call on their fitness, and the availability of prop Jannie du Plessis and flank Schalk Burger, will only be made later in the week.

He said: "Both are doubtful to play this weekend, but luckily neither of them are in doubt to miss the Rugby World Cup."

"Jannie du Plessis and Schalk Burger also picked up knocks in Brisbane on Saturday and we will reassess them at our first training session of the week, on Tuesday. Apart from a lot of bumps and bruises, the rest of the squad should be fit for selection."

Roberts added that the other injured players in the Springbok squad, Jean de Villiers, Fourie du Preez, Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts and Frans Steyn are not yet ready to be considered this weekend.

© ESPN Staff

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