(Adds England quotes)
JOHANNESBURG, June 12 (Reuters) – Prop Coenie Oosthuizen’s
injury-enforced absence from the rest of the rugby test series
against England is a major blow for the Springboks, forwards
coach Johann van Graan said on Tuesday.
Oosthuizen has a mildly bulging disc in his neck, according
to team doctor Craig Roberts, and will be out of action for
between two and three months.
“Coenie is still a young player and has a long career ahead
of him and needs to be managed appropriately,” Roberts said. “We
will follow a conservative approach with him.”
The 23-year-old Oosthuizen made his debut off the bench in
the first test against England in Durban and Van Graan said he
had made an impact.
“He showed in the first test what he can do and his injury
is a big loss for us, especially since he can play both
tighthead and loosehead,” Van Graan told reporters.
England, who lost the opening test in Durban 22-17, needed
to get their momentum back, assistant coach Simon Hardy said
ahead of Wednesday’s match against a Southern Barbarians team.
“We were disappointed with Saturday and we’ve reflected and
had our review but, like all good sides, we know we’re on the
path to somewhere,” Hardy told a news conference.
“We learn from our disappointments and move on, we don’t
encourage the players to dwell on their mistakes. We’ve had a
loss so now we need to get the momentum back.”
The second test is in Johannesburg on Saturday.
(Reporting by Ken Borland; Editing by Clare Fallon)
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