September 26, 2017 / 11:43 AM / a year ago

Rugby-Springbok captain Whiteley to return for European tour

Sept 26 (Reuters) – South Africa captain Warren Whiteley will not be fit for the last two matches of the Rugby Championship but should return for the tour of Europe, officials said.

FILE PHOTO: Britain Rugby Union - South Africa Captain's Run - Twickenham Stadium - 11/11/16 South Africa's Warren Whiteley and Bongi Mbonambi during the captain's run Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Boyers Livepic

A groin injury has kept the 30-year-old number eight out of his country’s last five internationals and he missed the Super Rugby final for the Lions.

“It’s just now the final phase of his rehab and then it is just a matter of getting him fit,” South Africa team doctor Konrad von Hagen told reporters.

Whiteley was injured in the June test series against France but had initially expected to return midway through the southern hemisphere tournament.

South Africa play Australia in their penultimate game in Bloemfontein on Saturday and complete their programme against world champions New Zealand in Cape Town on Oct. 7.

Flanker Jaco Kriel is ruled out of the November and December tests in Ireland, France, Italy and Wales after shoulder surgery but prop Coenie Oosthuizen is likely to be back for the tour after fracturing his arm.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town,; Editing by Ed Osmond

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