South Africa Rugby
Beast flies home - Malherbe gets call up
November 12, 2012
Springboks prop Tendai Mtawarira has flown home having suffered mild heart palpitations at the weekend © Getty Images
Springboks prop Tendai Mtawarira has returned home to South Africa after withdrawing from his side's end of year tour on medical grounds.
Mtawarira, nicknamed 'The Beast', was forced to pull out of the Boks' clash with Ireland on Saturday after suffering heart palpitations. He travelled to Edinburgh with the squad ahead of their second tour game against Scotland but the decision has now been taken for him to undergo an extended rest period.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said: "We've consulted with Beast and his cardiologist in Durban and although it's safe for him to play, we decided it would be best for him to return home and rest. The player's welfare is the most important consideration at this stage."
The 27-year-old, who has 41 caps, had an irregular heart rhythm, a hereditary condition, according to South Africa team doctor Craig Roberts. "He has had this several times before and it's always been managed accordingly," said Roberts. "This condition is not life threatening, but needs to be managed properly which is why we thought it would be in Beast's best interest to return to South Africa.
"He needs to have a repeat of the minor procedure he had in Cape Town earlier this year and it's important to notice that he is not at risk by playing with it, and his career is not in jeopardy."
Western Province prop Frans Malherbe will join the Springbok squad in Edinburgh in Mtawarira's place. The decision to bring in Malherbe, who is a tight-head prop, was taken as Jannie du Plessis has a mild ankle sprain he sustained in the victory over Ireland.
Gurthrö Steenkamp should be available for selection this weekend after missing the Ireland game due to injury. CJ van der Linde and Heinke van der Merwe can also be used at loose-head, while Du Plessis, Malherbe, Van der Linde and Pat Cilliers are all options at tight-head.
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