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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Springbok wing Kurt-Lee Arendse banned for four weeks after red card

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Johannesburg — Kurt-Lee Arendse’s Rugby Championship is all but over it was revealed by the Springboks on Monday at their base in Johannesburg.

The Bok winger was involved in a horror collision with All Black flyhalf Beauden Barrett late in the second half in the first Test at Nelspruit and received a red card for dangerous play. He was stretchered off the field with a suspected concussion, which was confirmed by Bok assistant coach Deon Davids.

He has subsequently been found guilty by Sanzaar’s foul play committee for contravening Law 9.17: “A players must not tackle, charge, pull, push or grasp an opponent whose feet are off the ground,” after a poor attempt at regathering the ball from the air.

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“Kurt-Lee is out for four weeks – he is banned from rugby for four weeks,” said Davids.

“I think it is up to the September 17 and he will only be available for the last game when we play against Argentina in Durban. He might come back and be eligible for selection.”

Davids further gave a brief update on the squad’s heath, revealing that Duane Vermeulen could be picked by head coach Jacques Nienaber in the matchday 23 on Tuesday for the second encounter against New Zealand at Ellis Park on Saturday. He would then replace Jasper Wiese, who has been industrious, if not brilliant, in the matchday team.

Said Davids: “Duane is ready for selection. He will come into contention for this week. We know that Faf (de Klerk) and Kurt-Lee are suffering from concussion, so we are following the Rugby protocols regarding that.”

It would seem then, that Jordan Hendrikse could well be promoted to the starting No 9 berth this weekend, as De Klerk will not have sufficiently recovered from his serious knock to the head. Herschel Jantjies is expected to be then on the bench, with Grant Williams and a fully fit Cobus Reinach the other options.

The real headache will be who will wear the No 14 jumper now after the suspension of Arendse and injury to Cheslin Kolbe. Davids confirmed that no player outside the squad will be called upon to fill any perceived gaps.

“Currently the focus is on the players that are here,” he said.

“At nine, we have a guy like Herschel that has been there. We also have Grant and Cobus returning which become possibilities. On the wing, we have utility players like Warrick Gelant, Damian Willemse and Jesse Kriel; guys that can fill that void. Basically, at this stage that will be the way that we go.”

The other interesting selection that must be made by the Bok think-tank, is whether to keep Malcolm Marx, who was awarded the Man of the Match award for his efforts in the 26-10 victory this past weekend, or rotate to the equally dangerous Bongi Mbonambi.

“Firstly,” Davids said proudly in Afrikaans, “Malcolm had an excellent match on Saturday, and we are very happy that he could do it in his 50th Test.

“Both hookers, just like our props, we don’t have a first-choice combination. They are all good enough to start or come of the bench. It depends on what we want to achieve in the match and how we approach that objective.

“At this moment, both could easily wear that No 2 jersey and they will play with passion. We trust both players’ abilities.”

Meanwhile, the All Blacks arrived safely in Johannesburg on Sunday.

@FreemanZAR

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