Marcell Coetzee has been called into the Springbok starting team in the place of the injured Willem Alberts for Saturday’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship opener against Argentina in Pretoria.
Coetzee’s place on the replacements bench goes to Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje, who made his Springbok debut in June against Scotland in Port Elizabeth.
Alberts was forced to withdraw from the match-day squad after he picked up a hamstring strain during the captain’s run at Loftus Versfeld on Friday evening. He was given until Saturday morning to recuperate sufficiently, but the Springboks’ medical team decided he would not be fit enough to face Argentina this weekend.
“It’s never ideal losing an experienced member of your squad the day of a Test and I feel for Willem, but I also have the utmost confidence in Marcell, who has been part of our squad for the last three seasons, and Oupa, who impressed when he was given an opportunity in June,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
Alberts will not travel with the squad to Argentina. As a result, Xerox Golden Lions captain Warren Whiteley has been drafted into the squad for the tour to Argentina.
The 26-year-old Whiteley was a member of the Commonwealth Games gold medal winning squad in Glasgow earlier this month.