Boks send Beast home after heart scare
Tendai Mtawarira has been dropped from the Springboks’ northern hemisphere tour due to his heart condition, and will return to South Africa, the SA Rugby Union said on Monday.
This follows Mtawarira’s withdrawal from the Test against Ireland as a precautionary measure, after he had a recurrence of mild heart palpitations.
“We’ve consulted with Beast (Mtawarira) and his cardiologist in Durban and although it’s safe for him to play, we decided it would be best for him to return home and rest,” Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said.
“The player’s welfare is the most important consideration at this stage.”
Mtawarira, who travelled with the rest of the squad to Edinburgh on Sunday, had an irregular heart rhythm, according to Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts.
“He has had this several times before and it’s always been managed accordingly,” said Roberts.
“This condition is not life threatening, but needs to be managed properly which is why we thought it would be in Beast’s best interest to return to South Africa.
“He needs to have a repeat of the minor procedure he had in Cape Town earlier this year and it’s important to notice that he is not at risk by playing with it, and his career is not in jeopardy.”
Western Province prop Frans Malherbe was drafted into the squad on Monday as a replacement.
“The decision to bring in Malherbe, who is a tighthead prop, was taken as Jannie du Plessis has a mild ankle sprain he sustained in the Test victory over Ireland last Saturday,” the SA Rugby Union (Saru) said in a statement.”
Saru added that Gurthro Steenkamp should be available for selection this weekend after missing the Ireland Test due to injury.
CJ van der Linde and Heinke van der Merwe could also be used at loosehead, while Du Plessis, Malherbe, Van der Linde and Pat Cilliers were all options at tighthead.
The 21-year-old Malherbe was set to link up with Boks in Edinburgh on Wednesday ahead of Saturday’s Test against Scotland at Murrayfield.