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Scandal hit Springboks get Bongi Mbonambi boost

By Ian Cameron
Springboks hooker Bongi Mbonambi charges at All Blacks halfback Brad Weber. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

The Springboks have recalled hooker Bongi Mbonambi to their camp in Buenos Aires after he finished the initial stages of his recovery from a knee injury.

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The injury had sidelined the first choice No.2 before the second Rugby Championship Test against New Zealand in Johannesburg in August.

Mbonambi had already returned to the URC’s Cell C Sharks following the injury and now faces a further assessment by the Springbok medical team as he bids to crack back into the team.

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It’s a welcome bit of good news for the Springboks, who were refused to field questions today about flyhalf Elton Jantjies, who was sent home along with the team dietician following lurid newspaper reports in South Africa over the weekend.

Father of three Jantjies is reported to have enjoyed an intimate relationship with 27-year-old dietician Zeenat Simjee, but the pair were rumbled when they were spotted by Springboks fans at a hotel in Nelspruit.

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber said they are aiming to get Mbonambi in contention for selection for the team’s final Rugby Championship Test against Los Pumas in Durban on Saturday, 24 September.

“It’s great to have Bongi back in the set-up and this week will be a fantastic opportunity to re-integrate him into our systems and for our medical team to assess his recovery,” said Nienaber.

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“He is a key player in our structures, and he also has a strong presence off the field, so it is pleasing to welcome him back.

“Bongi was expected to begin training this week, so it made sense to recall him to the squad, so that our medical team can work closely with him to ensure that we can get him back on the field as soon as possible.”

The 31-year-old joins Malcolm Marx, Joseph Dweba and Deon Fourie as the hookers in the squad.

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