Fassi misses out on Springbok showdown due to training injury

Arguably one of the most exciting talents in South African rugby, Aphelele Fassi will miss out on the Springbok Showdown and a possible call-up to Jacques Nienaber’s squad due to injury.

Fassi suffered an awkward fall in training this week, hyper-extending his shoulder which necessitated surgery and a three-month spell on the sidelines.

Fassi misses out on Springbok showdown

It means the young outside back who set Super Rugby alight earlier this year will defer his dream of pulling on the Green and Gold.

Shark coach Sean Everitt is confident that the speedy back will come back stronger than before and ready to push for a Springbok place.

“Fassi is a young player with a very positive attitude — he is one of those guys that is never down,” Everitt said. 

“He was in great form in Super Rugby earlier this year and he was on the brink of national selection, so obviously he is disappointed to get injured a week before the resumption of rugby, but he will bounce back — he knows he has time on his side and this setback will give time to reflect on the realities of rugby.

“From a Sharks team point of view, he is a big loss in that he brings a lot of energy to training and also to our games with his adventurous style of play, but injuries are part of rugby life and the show goes on.” 

Sharks injury woes

The injury leaves the Sharks thin at the back and may force Everitt to shift Curwin Bosch back to fullback despite his ambitions of securing the Springbok number ten jersey.

To make matters worse for Everitt he will be without Sbu Nkosi and Madosh Tambwe after the wingers were injured as the Sharks returned to contract training.

Everitt will have the experience and skills of Blitzbok veteran Werner Kok at his disposal as the Sevens expert has another crack at breaking into the 15-man code.

“It does leave us a little thin but the positive is that it means we will look at other players in those positions,” Everitt said. “Manie Libbok, Curwin Bosch and Boeta Chamberlain are versatile (fullback/flyhalves) and we have Werner Kok who can play centre and wing and (Junior Bok) Thaakir Abrahams is an exciting youngster (fullback/wing).”

The Sharks will face the Bulls on the final Saturday of September in a warm-up clash that precedes the Springbok Showdown in October and the Currie Cup that follows.

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