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No replacement for Botha yet

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 06:31
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I'm sure we will see him back in 2014
Quote-end

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has delayed a decision on a possible replacement for injured loose forward Arno Botha.

It was confirmed that Botha will not play again this year, after the flank ruptured knee ligaments in the 30-17 Test victory over Scotland in Nelspruit at the weekend.

Making only his second Springboks appearance, the 21-year-old Bulls forward was forced to go off just four minutes into a match - when he was injured without making contact with another player.

The former SA Under-20 captain was taken for scans in Pretoria on Sunday, which confirmed the diagnosis of an injury to his medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments.

It will require surgical correction and he will be out for the remainder of 2013.

The loss of Botha leaves coach Heyneke Meyer to choose from Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Siya Kolisi, Pieter Labuschagne and Francois Louw for the two flank positions in the four-nations Final - against Samoa in Pretoria on Saturday, June 22.

Meyer said that a call on a possible replacement for Botha will be made at a later stage.

"We do have good cover at loose forward - Siya Kolisi, Marcell Coetzee and Pieter Labuschagne are all capable replacements," the Bok coach said.

"Furthermore Francois Louw is back on Monday [after getting married on Sunday and missing the Nelspruit Test] and Willem Alberts has responded well to treatment and will probably in the frame for selection this week," Meyer said.

"Losing Arno is a big blow as he had a very good Test debut last weekend against Italy.

"Luckily he is still very young and I'm sure with the correct medical treatment and rehabilitation we will see him back on the field again in 2014."

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