Honiball out of Scotland match
South Africa's preparations for their World Cup Group A clash with Scotland at Murrayfield tomorrow suffered a huge blow when influential fly-half Henry Honiball was forced to withdraw from the starting line-up.
Honiball suffered a slight hamstring strain in training on Thursday and underwent a fitness test this morning.
It was decided not to risk him in the game and Springboks spokesman Alex Broun said: ``It was clear Henry would not be fit enough to play.
``But it is only a slight hamstring strain and he will be available for our next match.''
Honiball's enforced withdrawal presents an unexpected opportunity to understudy Jannie de Beer.
De Beer steps straight into the Springbok number 10 shirt and will be looking
to make a big impact in Group A's showpiece game.
Although the Springbok camp is playing down Honiball's absence, he is one of their key players and the injury could not have happened at a worse time.
The reigning world champions are under intense pressure to get their defence
of the Webb Ellis Trophy off to a flying start and Honiball is one of the Springboks' most senior and respected players.
But de Beer, who spent last season with London Scottish, has experience of playing key games for the Springboks and featured in the 1997 series against the British Lions. Due to de Beer's elevation to the starting line-up, Breyton Paulse has been called up to the Springbok replacement bench.