Springboks awaiting news on Whiteley injury


South Africa captain Warren Whiteley is set to discover on Monday how long he will be sidelined after suffering a torn groin that kept him out of Saturday's 35-12 drubbing of France.

Eben Etzebeth led the Springboks to a resounding victory over Les Bleus at Ellis Park which sealed a 3-0 series whitewash in the absence of Whiteley, who was ruled out on the day of the game.

Lions number eight Whiteley was sent for a scan, but must now wait to learn the extent of the damage just two months before the Rugby Championship gets under way.

"Warren has been struggling with a bit of a groin strain for a while. We decided to give him as much time as possible to be declared fit, but then he landed awkwardly in a line-out session," said South Africa head coach Allister Coetzee.

"We sent him for a scan and did a little sonar that revealed that has a little tear. We didn't want to risk him. Sometimes you use a medical team to patch up a player and make it possible for him to get through a game, but we decided it wasn't worth the risk.

"The team consists of 31 players and the whole week Warren did not train with the team, so it wasn't a big disruption for us.

"I was proud of the way the team coped under pressure. Eben was vice-captain so everyone knew who would take over when Warren is out. We don't know at this stage how serious the injury to Warren is.

"He will be assessed on Monday and a decision will be taken together with the medical team of the Lions."

Etzebeth was among the four try-scorers in another encouraging display from the Springboks and the towering lock thrived on the opportunity to lead his country for the first time.

"Welcome to the best day of my life," he said.

"The last 24 hours have been unbelievable and very exciting for me. Warren was outstanding in the last few weeks, so it was difficult taking over from him, but I had leaders like Siya [Kolisi] and Beast [Tendai Mtawarira] backing me. Everyone is a captain in his own position, so it was easy for me to take over.

"There has been great preparation this year and that has built up a feeling of brotherhood in the team. I would say that the last three weeks have been the best three weeks with the Springboks for me."