Lambie, Pollard in Bok 'rehabilitation' squad
NEWS: Injured flyhalves Patrick Lambie and Handré Pollard have been named in an 18-man group of players that will take part in a rehabilitation and conditioning camp in Stellenbosch this week.
The selection of Pollard - who underwent shoulder and knee surgery earlier this year - came after he has already been ruled out for the rest of the year.
In fact he recently revealed that an infection - as a result of the shoulder surgery - almost resulted in amputation of his arm.
However, he has still been invited for 'assessment'.
Lambie has not played since the sickening clash with Ireland's South African-born flank Christiaan Stander in the first Test on June 11.
Just over a week ago, when the Sharks lost 0-41 to the Hurricanes in the quarterfinal, Lambie was still showing concussion symptoms.
Lambie had returned from shoulder surgery just a few weeks ahead of the June Test series and there is genuine concern in medical circles about his health.
This week's four-day get-together will give Bok coach Allister Coetzee an indication as to Lambie's possible availability for the Rugby Championship - which gets underway when South Africa host Argentina in Nelspruit on August 20.
However, given that he has not been able to train since the concussion occurred, his conditioning may not be at a standard required for international matches.
Another injured star in the squad for this week is prop Frans Malherbe, who - along with Stormers teammate and flank Siyamthanda Kolisi - has both been ruled out for the next three months with injury
Kolisi - who sustained a syndesmosis ankle injury in the opening minutes of the Stormers' 21-60 Super Rugby quarterfinal loss to the Chiefs at Newlands just over a week ago - has undergone surgery.
The Stormers' co-captain, Malherbe, who came off the bench in the 49th minute of the loss to the Chiefs, injured his neck and has also been ruled out for three months.
Another noteworthy aspect of the selection of the Stellenbosch camp is the absence of veteran fullback Willie le Roux, who is - according to media reports - heading to Japan.
His lack of form and inconsistency this season, may also have contributed to his 'axing'.
The alternatives to Le Roux, who made his Bok debut in 2013, could be Jessie Kriel and Ruan Combrinck.
Kriel played all his Bok Tests at fullback, but has been moved back to No.15 by the Bulls this season and he has relished playing in a position where he first made his mark.
Combrinck was a regular at fullback for the Lions, but made his Bok debut against Ireland on the right wing - the position where he has p0layed most often recently.
The Springbok squad, to do duty in the first two matches of the Rugby Championship, will only be named on Saturday, August 6, after the Super Rugby Final between the Hurricanes and Lions in Wellington.
Coetzee, on Sunday, invited a selected group of players to attend a four-day fundamentals, rehabilitation and conditioning camp in Stellenbosch - to be held from Monday (August 1) to Thursday (August 4).
No Lions or overseas-based players were considered.
The purpose of the Stellenbosch camp is to give the Springbok management first-hand opportunity to assess the medical and fitness condition of the selected group of players.
"We will use the four days to spend some time on our fundamentals, continued rehabilitation and conditioning of this group of players," said Coetzee.
"Our management will be working hard during these four days and it will give us a good indication of the progress of those players who have recovered from injury, or those currently battling with niggles."
Springbok rehabilitation and conditioning squad: Damian de Allende (Stormers), Lodewyk de Jager (Cheetahs), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), Vincent Koch (Stormers), Jesse Kriel (Bulls), Pat Lambie (Sharks), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Teboho Mohoje (Cheetahs), Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (Stormers), Trevor Nyakane (Bulls), Coenie Oosthuizen (Sharks), Rudy Paige (Bulls), Handré Pollard (Bulls), Jan Serfontein (Bulls), Adriaan Strauss (Bulls).