Meyer has his choice of Bulls
THE injury to in-form Springbok flanker Willem Alberts might be a blow to coach Heyneke Meyer, but he has an equally destructive bruiser in Jacques Potgieter as a possible replacement.
Alberts, who played with distinction at No7 in the Boks' opening two matches of the three-test series against England, had his contribution in the 36-27 win on Saturday cut short after injuring a ligament in his right knee in the second half at Ellis Park.
Springbok medics are keeping a close eye on Alberts, who has been one of the outstanding players in the tour so far, and a full assessment of his injury and the player's availability for the final test is expected tomorrow when Meyer announces the team to do battle at Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Bay stadium on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Meyer will assess his options for a replacement and, given the type of players the coach has indicated he wants in the side, one of his clear-cut options is the bullish Super 15 debutant.
The drafting of the big flanker may have been a surprise to many, but he is just the type of player Meyer wants in his loose trio.
Potgieter plays a similar type of game to that of Alberts, with tearaway runs and an above average defensive record which has been on display in his Super 15 debut season for the Bulls.
With Sharks captain Keegan Daniel, who has come on as a flank replacement in both matches in the series so far, the possible front-runner for the No7 spot, Potgieter is likely to come off the bench in his home town on Saturday.
An added advantage of having Potgieter is that he can cover at lock, but Meyer received the good news that lock Juandre Kruger has recovered from his neck injury and should be available for Saturday.
Potgieter has had little game time in the last weeks of the Super 15 while recovering from a knee injury so it would be a special occasion if he were to make his debut for the Boks in the town where he made his professional debut for the EP Kings.