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'We need to get clarity': Sale fear for Springboks No9 de Klerk

By Chris Jones

Trending on RugbyPass

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Faf de Klerk is waiting to discover if he needs hip surgery that would rule him out of the upcoming South African European tour and leave Sale Sharks looking for temporary scrum-half cover. The soon-to-be 30-year-old half-back originally injured his hip in the second Springboks Test versus the British and Irish Lions in July and he aggravated the problem when he recently played in the Rugby Championship in Australia. 

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As a result, the hip has been scanned and the results are currently being examined by a specialist who will decide if surgery is needed. An operation would put de Klerk out for months and Alex Sanderson, the Sale director of rugby, is understandably hoping for a different verdict.

De Klerk played on October 2 against the All Blacks on the Gold Coast in the final round of the Championship but as it stands, the livewire scrum-half could now miss the Springboks’ November Tests against Scotland, Wales and England, as well as Gallagher Premiership and European matches for his club. 

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How the Springboks defeated the All Blacks
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How the Springboks defeated the All Blacks

Sanderson said: “Faf is currently undergoing assessment for his hip flexor injury which was sustained in the Lions Test and has become more severe recently, but we need to get clarity on that. There are concerns that it could be months but we need confirmation. We have to wait for the right assessments, otherwise it is scaremongering, and we have had all the scans sent over.

“They are with the consultant in London right now and we have all his previous reports. They want to see it all before they make a decision about rehab, surgery or crack on. Those are three options but we haven’t had the decision yet.

“I am speculating as a rugby coach and it is frustrating when someone comes back injured, but surely there can’t be any coaches or organisations out there that set out to deliberately injure people. I don’t believe that is the case.” With Will Cliff also injured, it leaves Sale with just two fit number nines in the highly-rated Raffi Quirke and Gus Warr, who both scored tries in the 33-32 loss to Gloucester last Saturday.

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Sanderson added: “Will has a small injury at the moment so we are down to two and that is not enough in a specialist position. There is no one of the calibre of Faf and we are jumping to conclusions here that he isn’t going to play – it might happen or it might not. We know about strength in depth when we have all the cards on the table.”

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'We need to get clarity': Sale fear for Springboks No9 de Klerk

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