Springbok chief denies World Cup injury hoax
South African rugby chief executive Jurie Roux has rubbished claims that the Springboks' much-publicised injury crisis is nothing more than an elaborate hoax, designed to aid their World Cup campaign.
With 21 front-line players listed as injured, South Africa are touring Australasia with an inexperienced side.
Nicknamed the 'Springboks-Lite', the second string were soundly beaten by Australia in Sydney last weekend and have named an even greener side to face the All Blacks in the Tri-Nations clash in Wellington tomorrow.
Reports emerging from South Africa this week revealed that the 21 players absent were all together at a training camp in Rustenburg.
The group, which includes Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, Fourie du Preez and Bryan Habana, form the backbone of the side tasked with winning a third World Cup.
The revelations have prompted furious cries of foul play, with the Boks accused of holding a secret World Cup training camp.
But, while Roux admitted they were indeed together, he vigorously denied claims that his star players were fit and training in secret.
"I'm not denying they're in Rustenburg. I'm denying that they're at a secret training camp. I've got my players in a single high-performance entity being rehabilitated, that's it," he said.
"What do you do with an injured player? You don't send them off to Bali or Mauritius to have a holiday.
"You put them into a high-performance centre, you put them with the best doctor you can find, and you put them on a programme to rehabilitate them to get to the World Cup."