Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira sat out Springbok training on Monday due to a knee injury suffered in Saturday’s Test against Scotland. The squad otherwise has a clean bill of health.
Team doctor Dr Craig Roberts told a media conference that Mtawarira had suffered a mild medial knee ligament strain at Murrayfield and had been rested from training. Dr Roberts said that a decision on whether the player would be available for selection for the Test against England at Twickenham on Saturday would be made later in the week.
Scrum coach Os du Randt said that the squad had options to cover for any absences. “CJ van der Linde covers both prop positions and we have Coenie Oosthuizen who has been making his way as a loosehead,” said Du Randt. “He was a tighthead at school and has the ability to play there in the future but for now it’s better to phase him in as a loosehead, where he made his senior debut as a 19-year-old. He has the talent and the ability to play for the Springboks for a long time.”
Du Randt said the Springboks would use their experience against Scotland to good effect. “They used their defeat by the All Blacks to motivate them against us. We can use the disappointments of Saturday in the same way.
“Our aim is finish the season’s Test match programme on a high and we have that opportunity on Saturday.”
The squad trained on Monday morning with 29 players following the arrival of replacements Charl McLeod (scrumhalf), Bandise Maku (hooker) and Odwa Ndungane (wing).
The team for Saturday’s Test is due to be named on Tuesday