Springboks sweating Smith injury
August 23, 2010
Juan Smith is the Springboks' only injury convcern © Getty Images
South Africa are sweating over the fitness of flanker Juan Smith as they prepare to take on Australia in Pretoria on Saturday.
The Cheetahs skipper put in a crusading shift against New Zealand last weekend in his long-awaited comeback Test, but missed training on Monday after picking up an abdominal muscle strain in the 29-22 defeat.
The All Blacks' last-gasp triumph saw them crowned Tri-Nations champions but the Boks desperately need two strong showings in their back-to-back meetings with the Wallabies after four straight losses.
Smith is expected to be named in the starting line-up on Tuesday and with careful management Springbok doctor Craig Roberts is confident that he will be fit to start at Loftus Versfeld. Sharks back-rower Ryan Kankowski has been drafted in as cover.
"There are a few guys with bumps and bruises but that was expected after such a physical Test," Roberts said. "We are fortunate that we have only one injury concern."
Roberts also dismissed reports that Sharks wing JP Pietersen was carrying a knock after making his return at FNB Stadium. "There were reports that JP had an injury but these are completely incorrect," he said. "He took part in the full session this morning."
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league
So much for the great Australian revival, writes Greg Growden. It now has the potential of going off the rails after the capitulation at Eden Park
The latest Week in Pictures takes in photographs from the Rugby Championship, the Top 14 and the southern hemisphere domestic scene