Whiteley recalled by Springboks

Thu, 28 Aug 2014 20:18
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BREAKING NEWS: Willem Alberts has been ruled out South Africa's Rugby Championship tour to Australia and New Zealand.

Willem Alberts has been ruled out South Africa's Rugby Championship tour to Australia and New Zealand.

He will be replaced in the 30-man squad by Lions captain Warren Whiteley, who is recalled jut days after being cut from the national team.

Alberts missed both Test victories against Argentina, because of a hamstring injury and he underwent a fitness test on Thursday.

Although his hamstring is recovering well, he experienced some nerve irritation in his lower back and was sent for scans.

"Willem requires further investigation of the symptoms and will see a number of specialists to determine the optimal management plan to get him back performing on the field as soon as possible," Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts said.

Whiteley, who toured with the Springboks to Argentina last week and recently won a gold medal with the SA Sevens team at the Commonwealth Games, will join the team in Johannesburg on Friday morning.

He was named to lead the lions, from No.8, in their Currie Cup encounter with the Eastern Province Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The Johannesburg-based provincial outfit will now have to reshuffle their team again.

Bok coach Heyneke Meyer said that although Juan Smith was on standby, the player requested more time to work on his match fitness.

"Juan has very high standards and he wasn't happy with his performance in Salta," said Meyer.

"Warren really impressed me last week, he's been playing very well and it made sense to get him back in. Like Willem, he is very effective with ball in hand and also a great option at the back of the line-out.

"More importantly, Warren is a natural No.8, which is a position where we need cover, but he can play flank as well."

The Springboks play Australia in Perth next Saturday (September 6) and take on New Zealand in Wellington the weekend thereafter (September 13).

The squad will prepare in Johannesburg before their departure to Western Australia on Saturday.