The Springboks will tour Australasia with a full-strength squad after tighthead prop Coenie Oosthuizen was cleared of serious injury on Wednesday.
The big front rower sustained a rib injury during the Bok’s 41-23 win over Argentina in Salta‚ but scans revealed no fracture.
He is still in some pain though‚ and team doctor Konrad von Hagen said he would be cleared to play against Australia in Perth on September 9 only if he felt no discomfort. But he will tour.
Oosthuizen’s medical clearance is good news for a Bok team on a high after five wins in a row in 2017‚ including their first two matches of the Rugby Championship.
The Boks top the standings on nine points.
The scrum and general forward play has been a strength for the Springboks, and Oosthuizen has been central to that effort.
His powerful scrumming has surprised many‚ as he’s a "manufactured" tighthead‚ rather than a player who was groomed for the role from an early age.
Although it appears his scrumming ability has suddenly developed‚ Oosthuizen has been in and out of the team on the tighthead side for four years.
In 2013 he started at tighthead against France in Paris and gave a dominant display in the set piece with the Boks winning 19-10.
That performance suggested he had found his home in the No3 jersey but injuries and inconsistency never allowed him to settle — until now.
Oosthuizen appears to have consistency in the key anchoring position‚ which gives the Boks an added weapon because he is mobile for a big man‚ and has good hands.
When Oosthuizen‚ all 125kg of him‚ runs on to a flat pass close to an opponents’ tryline‚ he takes some stopping‚ while his ability to compete for the ball on the ground adds value.
The Springboks will assemble in Johannesburg on Friday and the squad will depart to Australia in two groups.
The backs fly out on Friday evening while the forwards will follow them a day later.