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South Africa 'A' call in 3 players to replace fallen Boks

By Ian Cameron
Elrigh Louw of South Africa (C) and teammates watch a replay during a Rugby Championship match between Argentina Pumas and South Africa Springboks at Estadio Libertadores de América on September 17, 2022 in Avellaneda, Argentina. (Photo by Daniel Jayo/Getty Images)

The Springboks have been forced to call in three replacements into their South Africa ‘A’ squad following injuries to three squad members on the eve of the end-of-year tour.

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Sbu Nkosi, Marco van Staden and the uncapped Jan-Hendrik Wessels have all been ruled out with injury SA Rugby have confirmed. The trio all suffered injuries in the Vodacom Bulls’ URC match last weekend and have been ruled out of the tour.

Now Springbok loose forward Elrigh Louw, wing Leolin Zas and hooker JJ Kotze have been called up to replace them.

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An additional five as yet unnamed Springboks will now be brought to Cork to play in South Africa A game against Munster. The travelling squad will be joined by SA ‘A’ head coach Mzwandile Stick and SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus.

“It is unfortunate for Sbu, Marco, and Jan-Hendrik that they have been ruled out of the tour and I am sure they are very disappointed, but injuries are part of the game,” said Stick. “This has opened the door for Elrigh, Leolin and JJ to get an opportunity to show showcase their skills and I’m sure they’ll want to make the most of this opportunity.

“Elrigh, Marco and Sbu have all been in the national system in the last two seasons, and as coaches we know what we have in them, but their injuries have allowed JJ and Leolin to throw their names into the selection mix less than a year out from the Rugby World Cup, and we will never complain about that as national coaches as we attempt to cast out net as wide as possible with an eye on the World Cup.”

Erasmus added: “JJ is an exciting young player and Zas has performed well consistently at senior provincial level for a few seasons, so it will be great to see what they bring the squad.

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“We are facing quality opposition in Munster and Bristol in front of sold-out crowds, so these are going to be tough tests for the players, and this is exactly the type of pressure we want to test them under as we consider our player resources going forward to the World Cup.”

The SA ‘A’ team will face Munster on Thursday, 10 November, and Bristol a week later on 17 November, on their tour.

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