JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Springboks captain Warren Whiteley will be sidelined for another six weeks with a groin injury and will likely miss South Africa's first four games of the Rugby Championship, including the trip to New Zealand.
Springboks coach Allister Coetzee says that Whiteley has not yet recovered from an injury he sustained in June that forced him out of the third test against France. Whiteley also missed the end of the Super Rugby season for the Lions, who lost to the Crusaders in Saturday's final.
The six-week prognosis means Whiteley will miss home and away tests against Argentina on Aug. 19 and 26, an away test against Australia on Sept. 9, and likely the trip to play world and southern hemisphere champion New Zealand on Sept. 16.
That game against the All Blacks is exactly six weeks from Saturday's announcement on Whiteley's injury.
The No. 8 and new Boks skipper will be a big miss for coach Coetzee, who endured a terrible first year in charge of the Springboks last year, losing eight of 12 tests. Coetzee appointed Whiteley captain this season and the team responded with a 3-0 whitewash of France.
The announcement on Whiteley's fitness came in a statement announcing South Africa's squad for the start of the Rugby Championship.
Coetzee selected three uncapped players in the 34-man group: Flyhalf Curwin Bosch, loose forward Daniel du Preez and fullback Warrick Gelant. There was also a recall for fylhalf Handre Pollard, who has missed most of the season with injury.