DHL Western Province fullback Joe Pietersen has been called up to the Springbok squad in Port Elizabeth following the non-availability of a number of fullback options for Saturday’s third and final Castle Incoming Tour Test against England.
Pietersen will join the squad later on Monday as they prepare for Saturday’s Test at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Injuries to fullbacks Zane Kirchner (knee) and Pat Lambie (ankle) in the first two Tests, as well as Frans Steyn’s non-availability because he is getting married, has necessitated the call-up of Pietersen.
Pietersen, who had been struggling with a back injury, had been given the all clear by the Western Province medical team to join to Boks on Monday.
“Joe has always been part of our plans and also attended our final Planning Camp in Durban shortly before the England series started,” explained Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
“Injuries are part of the game and something you can’t plan for, but we always knew Frans was not going to be available for this Test. Joe knows our systems and game plans and I’m sure he will slot in easily.”
Lambie and Willem Alberts, who injured knee ligaments in the second Test, both underwent scans on Monday morning in Port Elizabeth. They have not yet been ruled out of the Test and a further decision on their availability will be made by Wednesday.
“We’ve decided not to call up a replacement for Willem as we have enough cover amongst the loose forwards in the squad,” said Meyer.