Van Niekerk setback for Toulon

Tue, 13 Aug 2013 07:57

Springbok loose forward Joe Van Niekerk will miss the start of the Top 14 season for Toulon after breaking down with a sprained knee ligament.

The former South African player of the year, who can play at flank or No.8, is set to be out of action for up to four weeks, ruling him out of Friday's curtain raiser against Montpellier.

Toulon, who narrowly missed out on the French championship when they lost to Castre one week after winning the European Cup against Clermont, are also deprived the services of Alexis Palisson, Frederic Michalak, Jean-Charles Orioli and Emmanuel Felsina with a variety of respective injuries.

On a positive note for the southern-based club, Springbok Bakkies Botha, Mathieu Bastareaud and Rudi Wolf have all returned to training and should be fit for their Top 14 opener.