Injury scare for Boks
NEWS: Coach Allister Coetzee was given a scare this week, as it was hinted that he may have to select yet another new captain - for South Africa's year-end tour.
Eben Etzebeth, who took over from Warren Whiteley as Springbok skipper in June, twisted his ankle during a training session at a Bok medical and conditioning assessment camp in Cape Town this past week.
The lock was taken for an MRI scan.
The Bok coach, Coetzee, could breathe a sigh of relief when it was revealed his captain suffered only a low grade ligament injury.
It is expected Etzebeth should be available for the first tour match - against Ireland in Dublin on November 11.
Etzebeth and Handré Pollard both sustained concussion against New Zealand three weeks ago and they are currently busy with their final return to play protocols.
Coetzee will announce his Springbok squad of 34 players on Sunday, a day after the Currie Cup Final.
The squad will assemble in Johannesburg on Monday.
Coetzee said he is very satisfied with the results of the Springbok medical and conditioning assessment camp which took place over a four-day period and was concluded in Cape Town on Thursday.
Eleven Springbok players attended the camp, which Coetzee described as an important part of the Springboks' overall preparations for the upcoming tour to Europe.
"We had a similar camp before the Rugby Championship and I am pleased to once more say that this camp was a very good, productive exercise and that I am delighted that we achieved our goals for the week," said Coetzee.
According to the Springbok coach, the brief but important get together will be of great benefit for the team's forthcoming European tour, which consists of Tests against Ireland, France, Italy and Wales on consecutive Saturdays.
"This group of players were last in action almost three weeks ago against New Zealand in Cape Town, so apart from the much needed rest, it is also very important that they are rugby ready when the full squad gets together next week in Johannesburg," explained Coetzee.
"The challenges are obviously completely different to what we faced against France in June and during the Castle Lager Rugby Championship. So the manner in which we prepare before and during the tour is very important."
During their time together, the players focused on sharpening their core skills and spent a lot of time on the technical aspects of their tour preparations.