Boks lose Etzebeth ahead of Italy clash

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 12:39

INJURY UPDATE: Springboks' star lock Eben Etzebeth will play no part in Saturday's match against Italy due to concussion.

Etzebeth left the field just after the half-hour mark during his team's 21-37 loss to England last Saturday, after he was bowled over by No.8 Billy Vunipola.

Bok coach Allister Coetzee confirmed that no replacement will be called up, as they currently have sufficient lock cover.

Pieter-Steph du Toit, Lodewyk de Jager and Franco Mostert are the other locks in the squad, while Teboho Mohoje and Willem Alberts have both provided cover at the lock position previously.

In Etzebeth's absence, Pieter-Steph du Toit is set to revert to his normal position in the second row and will likely partner either De Jager or Mostert in the second row.

De Jager started the match against England, while Mostert came off the bench to replace Etzebeth at Twickenham.

Bryan Habana, who did not play against England, had a full run at training on Monday and he will be available for selection, according to Coetzee.

Meanwhile, flank Uzair Cassiem joined the squad on Sunday in Italy as replacement for Roelof Smit and he had his first training run with his teammates on Monday.

The Springbok team to play against Italy will be named on Thursday.

The Springboks are continuing to struggle under Coetzee in 2016. They have only won four of their 11 games so far this year.

They also suffered a record 15-57 defeat at the hands of the All Blacks in Durban in their final outing in this year's Rugby Championship.

The Boks only picked up two wins out of their six matches in that tournament and before that they suffered their first-ever home defeat to Ireland in Cape Town in June.