Rugby Union

South Africa’s flanker Jaco Kriel out for six months

The Springbok flank injured his shoulder at a draw against Australia and is set to miss the rest of the Rugby Championship.

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South Africa’s flanker Jaco Kriel out for six months
MICHAEL BRADLEY AFP

On Tuesday, Spingboks’ flanker Jaco Kriel went through a shoulder operation after sustaining a severe injury in a Rugby Championship Test against Australia on September 9.

"Severe shoulder injury" for Kriel

Initially, the injury didn’t seem too severe, however, after examination Kriel was diagnosed with a “severe shoulder injury” and is set to be sidelined for six months.

His local South African team, the Emirates Lions, confirmed the news.

“Springbok and Lions flanker Jaco Kriel sustained a severe shoulder injury in the Rugby Championship test against Australia in Perth on 9 September,” said the Lions in a release.

“As a result, he will undergo an operation today (Tuesday) and is expected to return to play in six months.”

Rugby Union - Championship - Australia's Wallabies vs South Africa's SpringboksReece Hodge of Australia is tackled by Jaco Kriel of South Africa.

The 28-year-old will miss the rest of the Rugby Championship as well as the end of year Springboks tour, which includes Tests against Ireland, France, Italy and Wales.

He will probably return in the second month of next year’s Vodacom Super Rugby Competition.

Replacement yet unknown

This weekend, Kriel’s position was occupied by Jean-Luc du Preez at a 57-0 meltdown against the All Blacks in Albany.

Du Preez, handling and ball-carrying skills didn’t really show up at the match against New Zealand.

South Africa’s coach, Allister Coetzee hinted on the return of Francois Louw, Bath Chronicle’s captain and experienced regular for the Boks.

Louw’s last game for South Africa was the 57-15 loss against the All Blacks in Durban last year. However, his recent form and scoring spree for Bath makes him an ideal candidate.

Bad luck Springboks

Jesse Kriel of the Springboks celebrates after scoring a try during the Rugby Championship match against the Australian Wallabies.

Back in June, Springboks’ captain Warren Whitley was ruled out for an extended period after suffering from a torn ligament in his pelvis.

Earlier this month, Whitley, who underwent a groin operation in August, said that it is still too early to make predictions about his return to playing.

“It is three weeks post-op now, things have gone well, and at this stage I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m just looking forward to watching the guys on Saturdays in the coming weeks.”

Also, Boks’ are without tighthead prop Fran Malherbe (who suffered a neck wound) and prop Coenie Oosthuizen (who has a rib injury) for the reminder of the Rugby Championship season.