Habana ruled out of Fiji clash
September 14, 2011
De Villiers will hope to call upon Habana's experience sooner rather than later © Getty Images
South Africa's injury problems show no signs of abating after their star winger Bryan Habana was ruled out of their Pool D clash with Fiji on Saturday.
With the likes of Victor Matfield (hamstring), Bakkies Botha (Achilles) and Jean de Villiers (ribs) already ruled out of the encounter, Habana's withdrawal will come as a big blow to coach Peter de Villiers. Habana sustained a knee injury in South Africa's 17-16 victory over Wales on Sunday and will, as a result, miss the clash with Fiji. Lock Johann Muller also sat out on training with a tight hamstring on Wednesday but has not been ruled out of contention from selection.
Matfield and De Villiers' prognosis is around the 10 day mark, but de Villiers will be hopeful his winger will be fit in time to face Namibia on September 22. "Bryan could play if needed but we don't want to take chances," said De Villiers. "We have a few weeks to go in the tournament and we don't want to take risks and we have some other great wings in the squad - this is their opportunity, I hope they take it."
Habana is currently poised on 38 test tries - level with former Springbok Joost van der Westhuizen, but will have to wait another match to surpass the legend's tally.
Botha's World Cup future is still shrouded in doubt with de Villiers saying he may have to make a decision on the lock's continued participation in the showpiece tournament "sooner rather than later."
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