28 Jul 2011

South Africa lose more players to injury

7:34 am on 28 July 2011

South Africa's ranks were further depleted ahead this weekend's clash with the All Blacks after lock Flip van der Merwe and fullback Gio Aplon were sent home and loose forward Heinrich Brussow ruled out of the match.

Van der Merwe injured a rib cartilage in the 39-20 loss to Australia in the Tri-Nations opener last Saturday, while Brussow is suffering from a hamstring strain.

Livewire fullback Aplon, who suffered back and shoulder injuries after falling awkwardly in the defeat to the Wallabies, failed to train in Sydney on Tuesday.

Both Van de Merwe and Aplon have returned home.

The Springboks squad, already missing more than 20 injured frontline players, was further weakened last week when lock Johann Muller returned to South Africa, also because of a hamstring complaint.

Muller was replaced in the squad by uncapped Stade Fracais second rower Gerhard Mostert but there will be no reinforcements for Aplon and Van der Merwe with coach Peter de Villiers deciding not to bring an any replacements.