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Big Burger injury blow for Springboks


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World cup winning flanker Springbok Schalk Burger is almost certainly out of next week’s first Test against the British and Irish Lions because of a serious on-going calf injury.

In another twist the Springboks are still not settled on who will play at fullback and the Springbok management had been suggesting that wing JP Pietersen would be reinvented as a fullback but it now appears that Francois Steyn is in the lead to wear the 15 jersey after he ran at Thursday’s practice in that position.

During that session Pietersen was in his customary position, Bryan Habana on the other wing, Jacobs at centre with Jean de Villiers and Ruan Pienaar at 10.

Schalk Burger has not played since he injured his calf just before the end of the Stormers’ Super 14 campaign and more than a month later he is still not able to participate in training.

On Thursday night the Springbok management chose to decline comment on the state of Burger’s health, nor would they talk of the possibility of a replacement.

Super 14 winning Bulls hard man Danie Rossouw has been filling in Burger’s shoes and he is the likely likely replacement. That is even though Heinrich Brussouw starred against the Lions when he played for the Cheetahs last weekend and almost single-handedly kept the Cheetahs in the game.

The Lions conceded 19 turnovers in that game, many of them at the breakdown. John Smit was asked about Brussouw’s ability to steal ball.

“As a Shark, I know all about what he can do. We have been reduced to tears many times on a Sunday after visits to Bloemfontein.” Smit told the Pretoria News.

“He is only four and a half foot tall and born to steal ball a few inches from the grass!” Smit joked.

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