Habana out, Muller in doubt for Fiji clash

Springbok wing Bryan Habana has been ruled out of South Africa’s Rugby World Cup match against Fiji because of a knee injury, while lock Johann Muller is in a race against time after injuring his hamstring in training, team communications manager Andy Colquhoun confirmed on Wednesday.

“Bryan sustained a patellar tendon (knee) injury during last week’s match and will not be considered for selection,” said Colquhoun.

Photo gallery: Defending the title

While there should be no problem finding a suitable replacement for Habana, the real concern for the defending champions is in the second row where Muller has joined Victor Matfield (hamstring) and Bakkies Botha (foot) on the list of injured players.

Muller could not complete Tuesday’s training session and played no part in the team’s preparations the following day, thus further highlighting the crises the Boks are having at lock.

Springbok coach Peter De Villiers had previously said that he would call-up a replacement lock “sooner rather than later”.

The reason why De Villiers had not yet made the call is because Botha has been able to practice with the team over the last two days.


On Wednesday the Bulls lock was able to run with the rest of the team.

As a final resort flank Willem Alberts could be asked to cover at lock which would open a place in the team for Francois Louw.

A decision on who will replace the injured Jean de Villiers also has to be made and early indications are that Juan de Jongh could earn his first World Cup cap on Saturday — if team management does not decide to give Frans Steyn a run at centre where he plays most of his rugby for French Club Racing Metro.

Butch James is another contender for the No 12 jersey as that is the position where he finished last week’s match against Wales. — Sapa

View our Rugby World Cup special report for the latest news, features, match reports and multimedia here.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Busy Bee continues to sting despite challenges

Cape Town’s oldest Black rugby club personifies the problems Black rugby faces, including attempts to have its history erased, being affected by apartheid and struggling financially for good resources

Lala kahle Kaunda Ntunja

South African rugby has lost a gentle giant in Kaunda Ntunja. His commentary in isiXhosa poetically ushered in the Springboks’ first black captain and ‘popped champagne’ after Mapimpi’s magic

How Schalk Brits built his fantasy

The Springbok hooker built his long career on his ability to adapt — and will likely do so again now that he’s finally retired from rugby

Sport audit 2019: How SA’s national rugby team performed

The highlight of South Africa's year was the Springboks Rugby World Cup victory

Rennie: All Blacks left it too late to offer me coach job

New Zealand has said its new coaching team will be named before Christmas, but it has now missed out on at least three high-profile candidates

EDITORIAL: Sport is for the people

Administrators, from club to national level, would do well to take the example set this month as a reminder that the people is their primary mandate
Advertising

Subscribers only

Covid-19 surges in the Eastern Cape

With people queuing for services, no water, lax enforcement of mask rules and plenty of partying, the virus is flourishing once again, and a quarter of the growth is in the Eastern Cape

Ace prepares ANC branches for battle

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is ignoring party policy on corruption-charged officials and taking his battle to branch level, where his ‘slate capture’ strategy is expected to leave Ramaphosa on the ropes

More top stories

Limpopo big-game farmer accused of constant harassment

A family’s struggle against alleged intimidation and failure to act by the authorities mirrors the daily challenges farm dwellers face

Did Botswana execute ‘poachers’ ?

The Botswana Defence Force’s anti-poaching unit has long been accused of a ‘shoot to kill’ policy. Over 20 years the unit has killed 30 Namibians and 22 Zimbabweans

Zondo tightens his grip with criminal complaint against Zuma

The state capture commission’s star witness now faces a criminal complaint and another summons

Sharp sting of the Green Scorpions

Crime busters secure a 97% conviction rate and register more criminal dockets for range of crimes
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…