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Jean’s chances determined in next 24 hours

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Jean de Villiers’ chances of leading the Springboks in the 2015 Rugby World Cup will be determined by specialist opinions he will receive over the next 24 hours on the timeline for his recovery from the fractured jaw he suffered against Argentina in Durban.


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Team doctor Craig Roberts said early on Monday that although De Villiers’ knee had stood up well to his first 80 minute performance since his operation at the end of last year, his jaw injury was serious enough to keep him out of taking contact for a significant period.

With De Villiers boasting so little game time this year, that should obviously be a concern for Springbok coach Heyeneke Meyer, who has said already that he can’t afford to take too many players who are bracketed because of injury concerns to the World Cup. While De Villiers’ situation isn’t quite as concerning as that of flanker Marcell Coetzee, who now looks an unlikely starter at the World Cup because of his knee injury, the specialist opinions on when he can return to full training are going to be crucial.

The initial prognosis was that De Villiers would take four to six weeks to fully recover from his jaw fracture. Roberts said the Boks would be hoping it was closer to four as De Villiers has been out for a long time and if he can’t get game time as such he would at least require some extensive contact sessions to be able to travel to the World Cup with confidence.

“The World Cup is close at hand now so when there are six week injuries now I do start getting a bit nervous,” said Roberts.

“On Jean, we have to wait for the opinion of specialists. We have some excellent facial specialists that we’ve already consulted but there are some that we will be consulting today. So far it has been quite positive. The problem is we want to give Jean game time.”

The squad departs for England in four weeks from this coming Friday, so clearly there is now a race against time for those who are injured.

“Those are questions that have to be dealt with by the coach, but obviously when it would become difficult if you are starting to think about bracketing four or five players,” said Roberts.

The doctor said that the positive aspect of the De Villiers injury was that he would be able to continue with his conditioning and rehabilitation.

“Jean has a swollen face at the moment and has difficulty chewing. The good thing is that while we have to keep him out of contact for the four to six week period, he can take a full part in conditioning training and we can still progress with the rehab on his knee,” he said.

“It is early days to say for certain what chances Marcell has of making the World Cup, but with his kind of injury it is normally a six week time-frame in terms of being able to return to the playing field. Marcell is the injured player we are most concerned about at this point.”

Fullback Willie le Roux has also been ruled out of the Buenos Aires return against the Pumas after going over on his ankle early in the Kings Park game against those opponents.

“Willie is sore and stiff and won’t play this week but his is not a long term injury,” said Roberts.

Le Roux has played every match the Boks have played so far this year, and his absence will give the back-up fullback Patrick Lambie the chance to have a proper run. That of course is if coach Heyneke Meyer is happy to continue with Handre Pollard as his starting flyhalf after his nightmare performance in Durban.

According to Roberts, big blindside flanker Willem Alberts will definitely return to the selection frame this week, and the chances are good that Victor Matfield will also be back after suffering a hamstring strain against the Wallabies in Brisbane at the start of the Championship.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. “Le Roux has played every match the Boks have played so far this year, and his absence will give the back-up fullback Patrick Lambie the chance to have a proper run”

    Therein lies the problem… he should currently be the run on 10 (not the bench 15) being a much better tactical kicker who in my opinion is at least equal to Pollard in every other respect… but HM has backed himself into a corner with not having given anyone else a run @15, no other 10 a run and Serfontein nothing either should he have wanted to actually play Kriel in his favourite position at 15… not to mention no other 9’s have had a run either…

    Fok knows who I would choose in the starting and bench backs for this one?

    Do you risk playing the same starting 9/10/11/12/13/Mvovu/Lambie for some continuity?

    Do you drop Pollard and move Lambie to 10 and bring in some experience in Kirchner?

    Does Morne come into the bench mix… is it too risky to bring in Jantjes… who are the other centres available…

    I could go on and on with the variables… guess it is best to wait for the actual squad to make a more informed opinion…

  2. @Jacques: hahaha i have seen it! Watched the video twice now. Will watch it again and his highlights reel before i go to sleep. Ensure sweet dreams! Hehehe

    In regards to Snor? Guys I had this picture two weeks back, I need to change it before people get thinking! Hahah

  3. @bryce_in_oz: You know what you do. Do what the Argentinians did, bring in a completely different side, show why the Springboks have won a WC twice and why they are a powerhouse with World class players and go win in Argentina! If they can win in Durban, we can go to Aries and win too!!

    9. Faf or call up Houggard 10. Pat with Morne Benching 11. Mvovo 12. Jan 13. Mapoe 14. Cornal 15. Zane

  4. Of course JDV’s knee held up, it worked at half the speed as usual.

    Sorry, but as good a player as he was he seriously needs to shave a good couple of seconds off his 40 metre sprint time if he is to play in the RWC

  5. @BC:

    Hehe true you have had that up for ages now… but you have just forgotten to photo-shop the Bulls or WP jersey onto him…

    @Ollie:

    Ollie I cannot remember where I saw it but his standing start 40m sprints at the Bok camp were supposed to be not far off where he was pre injury (2nd quickest in the Stormers side)…

    Same can be said for Schalk and Brussouw too now (not that can get that back)… I know they are forwards but our loosies are way off the pace of the other team’s loosies… watch some of the IRE/Wales highlights on top of the AB/Aus game…

  6. @bryce_in_oz: he has one of the fastest 40m sprints in the current Bok set up now from some sources. Not sure who is the quickest. Haha Bryce I really would love Ou Div in SR the Weekly pressers would be fun! Haha; me thinks the WP and kings must rope him in. Even if it is a year or two contract!!

  7. Take JdeV along, even if only as squad captain (like Theo Pienaar in 1921). He can still get a run on vs Japan and other games. I think HM and lots of knowledgeable people holds his leadership in high regard.
    The Pumas fielded 11 new players in Durban. Maybe HM will follow with a few new faces, this being his last chance to experiment?

  8. Jis it worries me that after 4 years Heyneke still needs to experiment in his last test before the World Cup.

    Add to that the fact that half our squad seems to be in a race to recover in time for the WC, and I do not feel as comfortable as some of you guys are.

    Then we have the rumours of non white players being unhappy, and rightly so I might add, and things are really starting to smell. The likes of Jantjies (to me the form SA 10 in super rugby), Mapoe, Mvovo, Kolisi, Ntubeni, etc, all being called into the squad and getting nothing more than a token 2 minutes here and there, if any time at all, while other players get the opportunity to “play themselves” back into form, is cause for concern.

    All the best to Heyneke though, if he thought it was tough up to now, it is about to get really tough.

  9. Here in lies the problem why I said in 2008 that Pdiv was the right option for Boks. Heyneke is a damn finw coach but the type who builda over time. For that he needs to be with the playera everyday. Up to this year I have been pleasantly surprised by his results and remain a big fan of his even now. Just dont think he has the politcal no how to be Bok coach and think with the limitations placed on him with regards to time with group, he struggles. All the best coac Meyer. You remain the best coach in SA! Bring us back the trophy and all will be forgotten.

  10. Janee play Jean Left-Out.

    Sorry, you don’t go messing with DDA and Kriel. You don’t repair a Ferrari with a carthorse.

    As for the Greatest, yes we need some of his inspiration no doubts.

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