SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has provided positive news concerning the fitness of star looseforward Pieter-Steph du Toit.
The 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year will recover from a midweek head injury and be available for the first Test against the British & Irish Lions, Erasmus confirmed.
Du Toit left the field, reluctantly, during the second half of South Africa A's victory over the British and Irish Lions after sustaining a head knock while tackling Elliot Daly.
“Not allowing Pieter-Steph to return was a precautionary measure,” Erasmus explained.
“We thought it would be stupid to let him back on the park when we know the real Test match is only 10 days away.
“He will definitely be fit when the real one starts,” said Erasmus, referring to the three-Test series on consecutive Saturdays from 24 July.
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Fullback Willie Le Roux also left the field injured as too did Jasper Wiese.
“I think Willie has a hamstring that is a little bit sore. Jasper hurt his ankle near the end of the match. I think only those two guys are concerns at this stage.” Erasmus said.
Erasmus added that Duane Vermeulen is a doubtful starter for the first international and it is “touch and go” whether he will be considered for the others and hopes the likes of captain Siya Kolisi, Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Handre Pollard, Makazole Mapimpi and Francois Steyn, who have tested positive for Covid-19, will be available for the first Test..
Speaking of his injured locks in Lood de Jager and RG Snyman, Erasmus said that they both have a good chance of being considered for at least some of the Tests.
“The big question is always match fitness – you saw last night how some guys who had not played for a while struggled with the intensity toward the end.
“I think a guy like Alun Wyn Jones, who has been out for a while, will also struggle,” Erasmus said of the Wales lock who has rejoined the squad after a remarkably quick recovery from a shoulder injury.