Scrumhalf Rudy Paige has been ruled out of this Saturday’s final 2016 Rugby Championship match against the All Blacks due to a concussion.
Springbok coach Allister Coetzee confirmed the news at a media conference in Durban where the side are preparing for a showdown with the world champions at Kings Park.
Paige‚ who started during last Saturday’s 18-10 win over the Wallabies at Loftus‚ took a heavy blow to the head and was helped from the field midway through the second half.
Although Coetzee was initially optimistic that the Bulls scrumhalf would make a recovery‚ it became clear yesterday morning that he was in no state to play.
Paige woke with headaches and after further cognitive tests was withdrawn from the squad.
Although Coetzee still has two scrumhalf options in Faf de Klerk and Francois Hougaard in the squad‚ the coach has called up Bulls No 9 Piet van Zyl to replace his injured provincial teammate.
Van Zyl has been in good form for the Bulls during the Currie Cup.
He has also won two test caps previously.
Coetzee also considered Nic Groom ‚ whom he worked together with for five seasons at the Stormers .
The coach confirmed that wing Bryan Habana and centre Jesse Kriel would be given some more time to recover from knee and hamstring injuries respectively before a final call on their availability is made.
Lock Pieter-Steph du Toit‚ who left the field with a hip-pointer injury early in the second half against Australia‚ has been given the all-clear to face the All Blacks.
Centre Damian de Allende and hooker Malcolm Marx have rejoined the camp in Durban after representing the Western Province and the Golden Lions in the Currie Cup at the weekend.
Lwazi Mvovo‚ who was released last week to play for the Sharks‚ had to undergo an appendix operation last week and has been ruled out of action.