Two Springbok players will not be available for selection for Saturday’s second Rugby Championship Test match against New Zealand at Ellis Park.
Springbok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk suffered concussion in the first minute of the match against the All Blacks in Mbombele and is undergoing a head injury assessment protocol, while Kurt-Lee Arendse has been banned from all rugby for four matches for a dangerous tackle late in the match.
He also suffered concussion, which would have ruled him out of Saturday’s match in Johannesburg, and will now only be available for selection against Argentina on September 24 in Durban.
The good news is that eighth man Dwayne Vermeulen is fit and available for selection this weekend.
The Springboks have a number of areas to work on ahead of the crunch second leg against the All Blacks in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The visitors were able to counter the Boks’ attacks and as it is a vital part of the Springbok attack, it must be defended at all costs.
Springboks forwards coach Deon Davids was also quick to praise the Springboks’ aerial competition while the intent was there, the execution could be improved.
The Springboks aim to play the perfect game, knowing full well they will never achieve it, but they are one game away from beating the All Blacks three times in a row, having last done so in 2009.
Lud De Jager expects the intensity to go up a notch when the two teams run out at Ellis Park, adamant the All Blacks are capable of pulling off an upset despite the odds stacked against them.
But most of all the Springboks were grateful for the incredible support they experienced in Mbombela.
The Springboks vs the All Blacks is a game that continues to capture the imagination of fans around the world. And with the Boks dominating this rivalry, now is the time to tighten the screws.