Springboks flanker Van Staden to miss Argentina Test through injury

Johannesburg (AFP) –


South Africa flanker Marco van Staden has been ruled out of this weekend's Rugby Championship second-round match against Argentina due to an ankle injury, assistant coach Deon Davids said on Monday.

The Leicester Tigers back-rower came off the bench against the Pumas last Saturday and his powerful run set up the late, bonus point-clinching third try by scrum-half Jaden Hendrikse.

Van Staden joins a growing list of injured loose forwards, including 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit, veteran star Duane Vermeulen and Rynhardt Elstadt.

Davids said loose forward Jean-Luc du Preez, who was added to the squad at the weekend, is recovering from a knee injury and is also unavailable for the Argentina Test.

Half-backs Faf de Klerk, who missed August 7's last Test with the British and Irish Lions, and Herschel Jantjies, who was unavailable for last weekend's win, remain doubts.

"We are a bit thin in terms of scrum-halves and loose forwards as there are a couple of guys struggling with injuries," Davids told an online news conference ahead of the Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) Test.

Better news for the world champions and recent series winners over the Lions was that Vermeulen and Elstadt are likely to be fit for a four-Test Championship tour of Australasia.

But Davids could not say when Du Toit, who had a shoulder operation last week, was expected to be available again for South Africa, who complete their season with a November tour of Britain.

South Africa are set to meet Australia on September 12 in Sydney and September 18 in Brisbane and New Zealand on September 25 in Dunedin and October 2 in Auckland.

This schedule could be affected by the coronavirus pandemic, however, with reports suggesting the clashes between the All Blacks and the Springboks may be moved to Australia.

South Africa beat Argentina 32-12 last Saturday in the first round of the annual southern hemisphere championship while New Zealand scored eight tries to crush Australia 57-22.

The Springboks won the tournament in 2019, when it was reduced to a single round because of limited match time due to the Rugby World Cup in Japan, but were unable to defend the title because of Covid-19.