Damian Willemse. Picture: ASHLEY VLOTMAN / GALLO IMAGES
Damian Willemse. Picture: ASHLEY VLOTMAN / GALLO IMAGES

Omaezaki — Jesse Kriel is out of the Rugby World Cup (RWC), and will be replaced by Damian Willemse.

Kriel suffered a hamstring injury against the All Blacks, and it was thought at the time to be minor.

Coach Rassie Erasmus described it as “just a bump”.

Earlier in the week, management expected him to be fit.

Kriel had  a hamstring injury in the opening match of the tournament against New Zealand. Though the condition has improved, recovery was insufficient to put him in contention for either of the remaining two pool games. 

Willemse‚ 21‚ who is on loan to Saracens in England‚ will join the squad in Japan on Thursday. He won all of his five caps in 2018.  

“Damian would have been more involved with us this year, but for injury‚ though he is familiar with our systems and should have no problem slotting in.

“He has the ability to play in a number of positions in the back division‚ while other players can cover Jesse’s No 13 jersey‚” said Erasmus.

“I feel for Jesse. He has been in the match-day 23 for almost every match since I took over and is a model professional. He was a key member of the squad.”

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