Springbok midfield in question

Jan Serfontein training

South Africa will look to field a young centre pairing when they take on Italy this weekend at Kings Park, Durban.

The injuries to a number of centres in the Springbok squad have raised concerns for who will take the number 12 and 13 jerseys on Saturday against Italy.

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers was excluded from training on Monday after a hamstring injury he picked up against the Kings last weekend, while de Villiers younger colleagues, JJ Engelbrecht and Juan de Jongh, are also on the sidelines with respective injuries.

Jean de Villiers could make the match; however, a decision will be made on Wednesday if he is fit enough.

Due to the injury concerns at centre, the Cheetahs’ Robert Ebersohn has been called into the squad.

“Robert has really impressed me and has played some great rugby and I considered him the most unfortunate guy to miss out on a place in the squad,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

It’s likely that Bulls centre Jan Serfontein will start at inside centre, and will be paired with De Villiers if fit, otherwise Ebersohn will get his chance to justify his call-up.

“It’s not ideal for us to be going into a test match with two completely new players in the midfield,” confessed Meyer.

“There is a lot of pressure in test rugby and it is a different level to Super Rugby. But we have some really talented young centres at the moment. Jan Serfontein will definitely come through, but I was intending to ease him in. The injuries are a frustration, but they could provide an opportunity for the youngsters to show what they can do.”

Source: Supersport

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