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Jesse Kriel out of Rugby World Cup and to be replaced by Damian Willemse

01 October 2019 - 13:33 By Liam Del Carme
Jessie Kriel's injury has opened a way for Stormers pivot Damian Willemse.
Jessie Kriel's injury has opened a way for Stormers pivot Damian Willemse.
Image: Springboks/Twitter

Jesse Kriel is out of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) and will be replaced by Damian Willemse.

Kriel sustained a hamstring injury against the All Blacks that was thought to be minor at the time.

Coach Rassie Erasmus then described it as “just a bump”.

Earlier in the week management expected him to be fit.

Kriel sustained a hamstring injury in the opening match of the tournament against New Zealand and although the condition has improved it was insufficient to put him in contention for either of the remaining two pool games. 

Willemse‚ 21‚ who is on loan to Saracens in England‚ will join the squad in Japan on Thursday. He won all of his five caps in 2018.  

“Damian would have been more involved with us this year but for injury‚ but he is familiar with our systems and should have no problem slotting in.

“He has the ability to play in a number of positions in the back division‚ while other players can cover Jesse’s No 13 jersey‚” said Rassie Erasmus‚ South Africa’s director of rugby.

“I feel for Jesse. He has been in the match-day 23 for almost every match since I took over and is a model professional. He was a key member of the squad.”