South Africa’s second row injury jinx has struck again with World Cup-winning Springboks lock Eben Etzebeth reportedly sidelined for many weeks after an operation on a finger injury suffered in training last week. The 29-year-old last played for the French club in their Top 14 defeat away to Lyon on March 27, the week before their cancelled match at Leinster resulted in their elimination from the Heineken Champions Cup.   


However, club training since that cancellation has resulted in Etzebeth joining fellow World Cup winners Lood de Jager and RG Snyman on the injured list with the countdown on towards next July’s three-match Test series between the Springboks and the Lions in South Africa.  

“Eben Etzebeth has undergone surgery in the last few days,” said Toulon in a statement where they added that another lock, Matthias Halagahu, also faces a spell on the sidelines with a shoulder issue. “The two Toulon second-rows will be absent for many weeks.” 

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It means that Etzebeth and de Jager have now become major worries for the Springboks who have not played a Test match due to the Covid-19 pandemic since defeating England in the November 2019 World Cup final in Yokohama. 

South Africa’s three leading locks all headed to Europe on lucrative contracts but injury has also hit the trio. De Jager has been particularly badly hit having to undergo a third shoulder operation and he is now recovering from a broken leg/knee surgery.

The latest operations were carried out last week in a bid to help the Sale forward get back into action in time in the Gallagher Premiership to prove his fitness for the series with Lions. There has been better news recently, though, about fellow Springboks lock Snyman.


Munster boss Johann van Graan revealed the giant lock might feature for the province in the upcoming Rainbow Cup competition. Snyman is currently working his way back to fitness after suffering an ACL injury just seven minutes into his Munster debut against Leinster at Aviva Stadium in August.

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