De Klerk, Kolbe out of Springboks' tour to Britain

By BY GERALD IMRAY 20 October 2021, 12:00AM

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Scrumhalf Faf de Klerk will miss South Africa's end-of-year tour to Britain because of a hip injury.

De Klerk was one of four regulars left out of the Springboks' squad on Tuesday because of injury problems. Wing Cheslin Kolbe, prop Frans Malherbe and flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit were also missing from the world champion's 32-man group for tests in Wales, Scotland and England next month.

De Klerk is usually key to the Springboks' kick-based game plan. Kolbe hasn't recovered from the knee injury that saw him miss the second part of the Rugby Championship, while front-rower Malherbe has a neck problem.

Du Toit is still recovering from a long-term shoulder injury.

Uncapped Grant Williams of the Durban-based Sharks was included as scrumhalf cover because of de Klerk's absence, although Herschel Jantjies or Cobus Reinach will likely start in the No. 9 jersey. Lock Salman Moerat earned his first call-up to a South Africa squad and is the only other uncapped player in the 32.

South Africa will play Wales, Scotland and England on consecutive weekends from Nov. 6 and coach Jacques Nienaber is already talking about the Springboks' Rugby World Cup title defense in 2023.

“We are two years out from the Rugby World Cup in France, and we have close to 20 test matches before we start our defense of the title, so every match will count in terms of building confidence and consistency as a group," Nienaber said.

South Africa finished a disappointing third in the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship but regained some pride with a last-minute win over New Zealand in the final round. The victory also saw the Boks reclaim the No. 1 ranking.

Flyhalf Morné Steyn wasn’t considered for the tour to Britain after announcing his international retirement. The 37-year-old Steyn won 68 caps for the Springboks in a 12-year international career, which started and ended with him kicking series-winning penalties against the British and Irish Lions.

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Squad:

Forwards: Thomas du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Ox Nché, Trevor Nyakane, Joseph Dweba, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Salmaan Moerat, Marvin Orie, Siya Kolisi (captain), Kwagga Smith, Marco van Staden, Duane Vermeulen, Jasper Wiese, Franco Mostert.

Backs: Herschel Jantjies, Cobus Reinach, Grant Williams, Elton Jantjies, Handré Pollard, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Jesse Kriel, Aphelele Fassi, Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi, Sbu Nkosi, Damian Willemse, Frans Steyn.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

By BY GERALD IMRAY 20 October 2021, 12:00AM
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