Durban – Juan de Jongh and Marnitz Boshoff will not be considered for this week’s series opening test against Wales in Durban, Springboks team doctor Craig Roberts announced on Monday.
Stormers centre De Jongh has a ‘significant chest infection’, while Lions flyhalf Boshoff, only drafted into the squad late last week as a replacement for Damian de Allende, suffered a grade one ankle sprain.
“Yesterday Juan de Jongh got quite a bad fever and a lung infection, so we ended up sending him to hospital to put him onto so antibiotics,” Roberts said at the team hotel in Umhlanga. “He’s going to remain in hospital for three days.
“Marnitz rolled his ankle last week in Cape Town. He’s recovering well, but unfortunately both will be unavailable for Saturday.”
Another Stormers player, flanker Siya Kolisi, is also ill, although he was expected to be fit come the weekend.
Experienced trio Bakkies Botha, Willem Alberts and Jannie du Plessis all watched training from the sidelines on Monday, although they were just being given more time to recover.
“We sat them out of training to give them an extra day to recover from the bumps and bruises picked up on Saturday,” Roberts said.
The Bok medical chief also played down the significance of the heavy playing schedule of some of the players and the questions raised over whether they could have been managed better during the season.
“I’m not surprised (that its being talked about),” he added.
“The schedule is what it is and Super Rugby what it is, you want to play your strongest team for every game.
“So I can understand the franchises picking them, they want to win every game and so do we.
“If you talk about games to get match-fit then they are definitely match-fit. That being said, we do need to manage the guys a bit during the week because of the amount of rugby they have played. But I’m happy with where the guys are.”
Meanwhile, defence coach John McFarland was satisfied with the way the much-talked about centre pairing of JP Pietersen and Frans Steyn coped during the 47-13 victory over the World XV over the weekend.
With captain Jean de Villiers ruled out of the June tests, Sharks winger Pietersen has been shifted to the centre alongside club team-mate Steyn, returning to the international arena for the first time in over a year.
“I thought they did really well,” McFarland said.
“You’ve got to remember they were up against some top quality players. So we were pleased, especially with someone like Frans, who hadn’t played for the Boks for over a year. He fitted in very well.”
South Africa face Wales at Kings Park this week followed by the second test in Nelspruit next weekend. They then play Scotland in a one-off test in Port Elizabeth on June 27.
The Welsh begin their trip with a tour game against the EP Kings at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Tuesday night.