Updated: Friday, 29 August 2014 04:14 | By Agence France-Presse

Springboks replace unfit Alberts with Whiteley

Warren Whiteley replaced fellow loose forward Willem Alberts Thursday in the South Africa squad for Rugby Championship Tests in Australia and New Zealand during September.


Springboks replace unfit Alberts with Whiteley

South Africa's Warren Whiteley runs with the ball during the Rugby Sevens pool B match between South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago at Ibrox Stadium during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on July 26, 2014 - by Ben Stansall

Alberts, who missed narrow home and away wins over Argentina this month in the southern hemisphere competition through injury, was included in a 30-man squad named three days ago.

However, his inclusion was conditional on passing a fitness test in Johannesburg and the Springboks medical staff believe Alberts has not fully recovered from a hamstring injury.

"Willem requires further investigation of the symptoms and will see specialists to determine the optimal management plan to get him back on the field," said team doctor Craig Roberts.

Whiteley skippered the Johannesburg-based Golden Lions this season to their best Super Rugby showing and travelled to Argentina last week, but did not play in the 33-31 Test win.

"Warren really impressed me last week -- he has been playing very well and it made sense to get him back in," said South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer.

"Like Willem, he is very effective with ball in hand and also a great option at the back of the lineout.

"More importantly, Warren is a natural No. 8, a position where we need cover, but he can play flank as well."

Toulon loose forward Juan Smith was originally on stand-by should Alberts not be able to travel, but pulled out, believing he needs to work on his match fitness.

"Juan has very high standards and was not happy with his performance in Salta," explained Meyer.

The Springboks play the Wallabies on September 6 in Perth and the All Blacks on September 13 in Wellington.

South Africa top the table after two rounds with eight points, title-holders New Zealand have seven, and Argentina and Australia two each.

Squad

Forwards: Bakkies Botha, Schalk Brits, Marcell Coetzee, Lodewyk de Jager, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Francois Louw, Victor Matfield, Teboho Mohoje, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Adriaan Strauss, Marcel van der Merwe, Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley

Backs: Damian de Allende, Jean de Villiers (capt), Bryan Habana, Cornal Hendricks, Francois Hougaard, Patrick Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lwazi Mvovo, Ruan Pienaar, Handre Pollard, Cobus Reinach, Jan Serfontein, Morne Steyn

Coach: Heyneke Meyer

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