Boks suffer another injury blow as Pieter-Steph du Toit returns home
Still coming to terms with the loss of prop Coenie Oosthuizen for the rest of the tour‚ it was confirmed on Monday that flank Pieter-Steph du Toit will miss Saturday’s Test against France with concussion.
“He left the field with five minutes left (against Ireland) for a concussion test which he unfortunately failed‚” said team doctor Conrad von Hagen.
“We’ll follow the normal concussion protocol to determine his return to play but he won’t be available for selection this weekend.”
It comes on the back of tighthead Oosthuizen’s devastating injury.
“He had a scan in Dublin and it was a MCL and ACL tear‚ which means he will need surgery and he’ll be out for an extended period.
"He’s on his way home where he’ll see a knee surgeon as soon as possible‚” said Dr Von Hagen.
It opens the door for coach Allister Coetzee to call up a substitute and he's leaning towards a back and not front row replacement.
“It could cover loose forward. I need approval for the player‚" said the coach‚ which may suggest he's looking at a foreign-based player.
The replacement in the squad will be announced later on Monday.
Du Toit’s absence‚ however‚ will be keenly felt.
Usually a lock‚ Du Toit's efficacy on the side of the scrum had been questioned before he packed down there with some punch against New Zealand in Cape Town.
His partnership with Siya Kolisi and Francois Louw worked on the day.
He delivered another honest shift against Ireland last weekend‚ although most Bok performances of that calibre were drowned out by mediocrity elsewhere.
“He’s been outstanding in terms of our line-out work‚” Coetzee said ruefully.
“Last week‚ and against the All Blacks he played a major role. In his general play as a blindside flank he was outstanding.
“You’ve got to look to be substituting that. You’ve got to have a line-out option. He’s given us an extra option. "I need to have a line-out specialist coming.”
Asked if Duane Vermeulen was the player they are hoping to fly north from Toulon‚ Coetzee said: “Who knows.”