Van der Merwe and Aplon to return home from Bok tour

Lock forward Flip van der Merwe and fullback Gio Aplon will return home from the Springboks’ Tri-Nations Series tour on Wednesday.

The Bulls’ second rower, Van der Merwe, injured a rib cartilage in Saturday’s Test against Australia and would not recover in time for this weekend’s Test against New Zealand in Wellington.

Aplon suffered injuries to his back and shoulder and was unable to train on Monday and Tuesday.

It was decided after further evaluation, he too should return to South Africa to begin his rehabilitation.

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers would not be calling for replacements.

Stade Francais lock Gerhard Mostert had already joined the squad from France as a replacement for Johann Muller, who left on the same day, having failed to recover from a hamstring strain.

Meanwhile, Heinrich Brssow had been ruled out of contention for the Test.

The loose forward was recovering from a hamstring strain and would remain with the squad to continue his rehabilitation.

De Villiers said he hoped Brssow would receive some game time for the Free State Cheetahs in the Currie Cup against Western Province next Saturday. — Sapa

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