BuzzSouthAfrica has confirmed that Eben Etzebeth wouldn’t partake in the Springboks’ Test match against Italy on Saturday.
Confirming this, Springbok coach Allister Coetzee related that Etzebeth was ruled-out of the game following the concussion he suffered against England.
If you recall, the Springbok lock left the field in the first half after a head collision in the Test against England at Twickenham.
Coetzee added that no replacement will be called up to replace Etzebeth. This is so because Springboks at present, have enough lock cover.
While Oupa Mohoje and Willem Alberts have both previously provided cover in the lock position, there are other locks in the squad like Pieter-Steph du Toit, Lood de Jager and Franco Mostert.
Coetzee further related that Bryan Habana, who didn’t play against England, had a full run at training on Monday and will be available for selection.
Also, flanker Uzair Cassiem has joined the squad as replacement for Roelof Smit. The Springbok team to clash against Italy will be named on Thursday.
Coach Coetzee remarked that the Springboks’ next Test against Italy in Florence is important.
“We need to get a win. That is one important thing for any team. You can work as hard as you want, but for belief in structures and the team itself, you need to win,” he said.
He recounted that the defeat against England was painful. But then, he praised his team for their courage at Twickenham, especially towards the end of the Test which England won 37-21.
“It’s hurting however, this team doesn’t give up and I draw comfort from the way they kept fighting out there…We had them under pressure but we couldn’t handle their contestable kicks.
“Those individual mistakes cost us. At times we were a bit passive in defence – we need a bit more speed off the line. Our set-piece was again very solid, but we needed a much better overall performance,” he said.