With quality squad, Boks unshaken by Eben injury

Springboks assistant coach Felix Jones says Eben Etzebeth’s injury is unlikely to influence many changes in Boks line-up against Romania this coming Sunday.

Etzebeth was substituted 25 minutes into the first half of the Springboks’ win over Scotland.

He sustained a shoulder injury during the Pool B Rugby World Cup opening match at the weekend.

Jones said player management could come into play ahead of Romania clash this week. “One of the big focus areas for us this year has been to manage player load,” Jones told SA rugby media.

“Obviously, we want to win every week, but we have a quality squad in which the players are pushing one another for places, so we may make a few rotations.

“It’s important for us to balance the load, so should we progress in the competition we have a squad that is match fit, which will allow us to call on any player at any time when we need them,” said Jones.

The experienced lock will be on the sidelines for seven to 10 days, with RG Snyman expected to be his replacement.

SA Rugby director Rassie Erasmus said the Romania match is the most important one next: “Not just to get the result, but to improve enough to really give the No 1 team in the world [Ireland] a go,” Erasmus said.

“If we manage to win that one, then it will be a really interesting last round because I think Scotland have the ability to give Ireland a go.

“They are used to playing against them in the United Rugby Championship and the Six Nations.

“Ireland will come with a strong team against us, but they’re also playing Tonga this weekend, and it’s going to be nice and exciting.

“That’s what makes the World Cup so special and exciting at the same time.”

The Springboks resumed their on-field preparations for the match against Romania in Bordeaux on Tuesday.

Boks coach Jacques Nienaber will name his matchday squad for the clash on Wednesday evening.

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