Steve Diamond has revealed Sale Sharks will be sending seven players to join the Springboks training squad – minus the injured Lood de Jager – which will affect his squad for the start of next season’s Gallagher Premiership and Heineken European Cup.
Diamond has recruited heavily from South Africa and with Springbok assistant coach Felix Jones now based in Dublin to monitor the European based players, their form has seen an unprecedented call up from Sale who are second the Gallagher Premiership.
However, World Cup winner Lood de Jager will not be travelling back to South Africa as he is preparing to discover how long his latest shoulder injury will keep him out of the game. De Jager was injured in the 40-31 win over Leicester and will have another scan today on the shoulder to reveal the extent of what is believed to be ligament damage.
Diamond accepts he will have to operate without those seven players during the November test period but is confident his squad can still be competitive in the Premiership and the Heineken Champions Cup fixtures that will be played. The seven are; Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Faf de Klerk, Coenie Oosthuizen, Akker van der Merwe, Dan, Rob and Jean-Luc du Preez.
Diamond said: “There will be seven players minus Lood going to join the Springbok squad. Lood will have his scan this afternoon and the x-rays are positive and there doesn’t seem to be any distress but we will wait for the MRI scan and get him to see one of the specialists. I am fairly optimistic but he won’t be playing in the next tens days and it looks there is no structural damage but there may be some ligament damage.
“Rohan is playing well and he is on the Springbok radar because has been called up to the squad going to join their training camp at the end of our season or after the play-offs. Every South African I have got with the exception of Cobus Wiese has been called up including Akker and Coenie. We don’t lose them until the end of the season and as Rob Baxter said ( about the start of next season) we have two league games and two European games and something has to give.
“Equally so, my Dirty Dozen as I call my mid-week team went out and beat Wasps who are beating everybody at the moment. I have a good squad that will scrap in those first two games if I haven’t got the South African players. “
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