Etzebeth doubtful for June tests


According to SuperSport website, DHL Stormers behemoth Eben Etzebeth was named in the national training squad for next week’s camp in Durban, but it now seems unlikely that he will play for the Springboks in the June test matches.


The big lock was doing his own drills with the fitness trainer as the Stormers trained on Monday as he gets used to putting weight on the ankle that was operated on after last year’s Springbok tour of the UK and France. But after saying at the weekend that Etzebeth had an outside chance of being ready to play against the Sharks on 31 May, Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has now ruled out that possibility.

Instead, the Stormers coach says that the team’s medical staff will meet with their Springbok counterparts and suggest that Etzebeth sit out the June tests in their entirety as the player has taken longer to recover from his injury than anticipated, and it would be risky to bring him back into rugby through a test match.

“I will say that it is another three to four weeks just before he can start training fully again, so I would doubt that he can be used in the June tests,” said Coetzee.

“You could get him ready during the next four weeks to play Super Rugby, but even that would be at a push. The respective medical staffs will meet to discuss it, but they are likely to agree with our medical people. And I can’t see Heyneke Meyer risking Eben as he is too valuable to the Boks.”

If the Stormers’ prognosis is correct, and even if Etzebeth did make a quicker than anticipated recovery, the earliest he could be back is the second test against Wales in Nelspruit on 21 June, the Bok coach has the option of giving a young lock an opportunity to make his mark. Otherwise he could turn to Bakkies Botha, who is back playing again in France after a lengthy absence due to injury.

Flip van der Merwe can easily slot into the No 4 jersey after playing at No 5 in the latter part of the last international season as Victor Matfield is back in the mix to run the Bok line-outs, but he will require back-up.

Meanwhile it has been confirmed that centre Jaque Fourie, who was not named in the 36-man training squad, will undergo an ankle operation on Tuesday that could keep him out of the game for up to six months. It is unlikely that Fourie will take part in any of the test matches scheduled for this year.

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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. DHL Stormers Behemoth

    I am sorry… all that is behemothan that this kid has indicated is the history of his family… as an enforcer he is useless and as a jumper just mildly less so…

    He’s no Bakkies, no Ackers, no Matfield, no Bakkies and certainly no PAKslae…

    Maybe he should come play in Pretoria and TOUGHEN THE F**K UP…

  2. @DavidS: Remark was about Bakkies and not Eben. Eben is still young he should be given a change to develop first however…..He is no Bakkies and should not be he should be an even greater Eben…but only time will tell if he would get even close to that…

  3. I reckon Eben is an yster dawie. Certainly he is no bakkies or pakslae yet, but he will grow into it. I like him a lot and him and Willemse should be our future 4’s. At number 5 is where my worry is, Flip hasnt impressed in the role, allthough it seems he is a bit more mature this year.

    PSDT must be the most overrated lock on the planet, hats off to his marketing team, cause his play doesnt justify the hype to me. Dont see a lot of number 5’s putting their hands up, pity a guy like Wilhelm Steenkamp plays for the force and hasnt had enough game time this season. Any suggestions out there? The fact that Victor Matfield is still our best 5 is a sad situation. He is still class, but really we need someone for the future.