Springboks dealt double backline injury blow ahead of Ireland series

South Africa could be without the services of one of their key defensive players when they take on Ireland in a two-Test series in July.

On the day the Springboks announced they would begin their second in-person camp in Cape Town on Wednesday, it was revealed that quality full-back Damien Willemse will undergo surgery on a finger injury.

It appears that the injury will keep him out of action for up to four months.

The setback comes on the same day Sharks director of rugby Neil Powell revealed that the Durban-based side will be without the services of their captain and two-time World Cup winner Lukhanyo Am for the rest of the season.

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The setbacks arrived a month before the Boks opened the Test season – with a warm-up match against Wales in London on June 22, followed by the series against Ireland.

Willemse's injury will put a lot of pressure on Bok coach Rassie Erasmus.

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Stormers director of rugby John Dobson – when he addressed the media after his side's hard-fought 16-12 win in the United Rugby Championship match in Galway at the weekend – suggested that Willemse could be available for the Test series.

However, scans showed that surgery was required.

The 26-year-old featured prominently for the Boks at full-back during their victorious World Cup campaign in France last year.

At the Stormers, he floated around the backline and often featured at inside centre.


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