Wednesday 21 March 2018

'The Beast' could miss out for Springboks

South African prop Tendai Mtawarira, nicknamed 'The Beast'. Photo: PA
South African prop Tendai Mtawarira, nicknamed 'The Beast'. Photo: PA

Prop Tendai Mtawarira is a doubt for South Africa's clash with England at Twickenham on Saturday after missing training today with a medial knee ligament strain.

The 25-year-old Sharks loosehead has started all three Tests on tour but picked up the injury in the 21-17 defeat to Scotland at Murrayfield.

His fitness will be monitored during the week before a decision is made on his availability.

Should Mtawarira, nicknamed 'The Beast', be ruled out, CJ van der Linde is likely to be the man to deputise, and scrum coach Os du Randt believes the Springboks have the strength to cope with any front-row injury problems.

"CJ van der Linde covers both prop positions and we have Coenie Oosthuizen who has been making his way as a loosehead," said Du Randt.

"He was a tighthead at school and has the ability to play there in the future but for now it's better to phase him in as a loosehead, where he made his senior debut as a 19-year-old. He has the talent and the ability to play for the Springboks for a long time."

Du Randt, a World Cup winner in 1995 and 2007, also hopes to see a positive reaction from the tourists following that defeat in Edinburgh.

"Scotland used their defeat by the All Blacks to motivate them against us. We can use the disappointments of Saturday in the same way," he added.

"Our aim is finish the season's Test match programme on a high and we have that opportunity on Saturday."

Press Association

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