The Springboks may well have to do without scrumhalf Fourie du Preez in their first three Tests of the season, and the Blue Bulls could be without their top three scrumhalves when the Currie Cup kicks off on June 20.
This follows the confirmation that Springbok and Bulls scrumhalf Fourie du Preez has suffered a broken bone in his left hand.
He injured his hand in the Super 14 match against the Cheetahs on Saturday and will probably undergo an operation this week.
Indications are that he will be out of action for between four and six weeks.
Du Preez’s non-availability for the Currie Cup had been foreseen by the Blue Bulls because of his likely involvement with the Springboks in the tests against Wales, Italy and for the tri-Nations series.
However, the inclusion of Francois Hougaard in the SA Under-20 side to play in the Junior World Championships in Wales will make him unavailable for selection before the end of June.
That and the injury to Heini Adams might well force the Blue Bulls to look at the experienced Vodacom Cup scrumhalf JP Joubert to start off in their Currie Cup campaign.
Adams is recovering well but there is no certainty he will be fit by the time the Currie Cup kicks off.
It seems unlikely that Du preez will play in the Tests against Wales on June 7 and June 14 and against Italy on June 21, but he is expected to be fit for the Tri-Nations series which starts on July 5.
Sapa – Rugbyweek.com