Springboks lose du Plessis
July 12, 2010
Springbok prop Jannie du Plessis will miss the second Test of the Tri-Nations © Getty Images
South Africa have been dealt a further blow prior to Saturday's Tri-Nations rematch against the All Blacks in Wellington, with prop Jannie du Plessis ruled out due to injury.
The Sharks tight-head picked up a grade two strain to his calf in last weekend's 32-12 defeat at Eden Park and will likely be replaced by either BJ Botha or CJ van der Linde.
Lock Bakkies Botha will miss the rest of the tournament after being banned for nine weeks for a headbutt on All Black scrum-half Jimmy Cowan, but the Boks have reported no further injury problems as they look to bounce back immediately.
"The way you lose is not as important as how you stand up from such a defeat," coach Peter De Villiers said. "The guys know they didn't perform well, they remain proud and they realise that they have hard work ahead of them this week. The All Blacks were very good at the weekend and they did not allow us space to play the way we wanted."
De Villiers also dismissed suggestions that fatigue from travelling played a part in his side's below-par performance.
"The players are professionals and travel is part of their daily lives. They are no strangers to travelling here as they do in Super 14. We can't look for excuses," he said. "The All Blacks were better than us, it's as simple as that."
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'