Springboks suffer Du Plessis blow
August 18, 2012
Bismarck du Plessis faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines © PA Photos
The Springboks have been hit with a massive blow following the news that hooker Bismarck du Plessis is likely to miss the rest of 2012 due to a knee injury sustained during their 27-6 win over Argentina on Saturday.
The hooker left the field in the fourth minute of the game on a stretcher and was replaced by Adriaan Strauss. South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer told reporters in the aftermath of the match that Du Plessis is likely to be out for between six and seven months.
The Springboks travel to Argentina on Sunday but Du Plessis will not be on the plane. The Boks will call up a replacement in the next day or so, according to Meyer.
With Chiliboy Ralepelle sidelined, Strauss is likely to start against the Pumas with Tiaan Liebenberg in reserve. Despite the pair of injuries, Meyer said that the management "will not panic".
Meyer said of the injuiry: "He went for a scan and it appears he has torn ligaments. I don't want to pre-empt anything before the doctors have had their final say but for the type of injury he has players are normally out for seven to eight months."
The Boks had to play without Du Plessis for the bulk of the match and Meyer admitted that they missed their vice-captain. "Bismarck is excellent at protecting the ball and we missed that but his absence was felt for more than just his ball retention skills," Meyer said. "We have a very young pack and Bismarck was important for his leadership and his experience. He is also an excellent ball stealer and we missed that too."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Heineken Cup proved once again just why it is the best domestic rugby competition in the world at the weekend and Monday Maul picks out some of the key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring
"If I miss the first kick of the match, it shouldn't have any impact on the second. They are different entities." Tom Hamilton talks to Northampton Saints' Stephen Myler
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson