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Francois Steyn to miss NZ Test

Francois Steyn's absence is a blow to the Springboks.

Francois Steyn's absence is a blow to the Springboks. Photo: Getty Images

JOHANNESBURG: Injured South Africa inside centre Francois Steyn will not be available for the 2012 Rugby Championship final-round fixture against New Zealand in Soweto this Saturday.

A South African Rugby Union statement said Steyn requires surgery on an ankle injury that ruled him out of the 31-8 triumph over Australia at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria last Saturday.

Steyn, who rejoined Durban-based Super Rugby outfit the Sharks in mid-year after several seasons with French Top 14 club Racing Metro, undergoes surgery Wednesday to clean out old bone fragments in his ankle joint.

"Losing Francois is a big blow as he is one of our most experienced players," admitted coach Heyneke Meyer. "However, it is better he gets the ankle sorted out properly as he has a long rugby career ahead of him."

Golden Lion Jaco Taute replaced Steyn against the Wallabies to win his first cap and is set to remain in the starting line-up, which is scheduled to be announced Wednesday.

Loose forward Jacques Potgieter has also been forced to withdraw from the squad after sustaining an abdominal strain playing for the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup last weekend.

Centre-cum-wing Lionel Mapoe from reigning Currie Cup champions the Lions replaces Steyn in the 30-man squad and Arno Botha comes in for Bulls team-mate Potgieter.

New Zealand clinched the maiden Rugby Championship last weekend with a 54-15 triumph in Argentina and lead second-place South Africa by nine points going into the fixture at the 90,000-seat Soccer City stadium.

AFP

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Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
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SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
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NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
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SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
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AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
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ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
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SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
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IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
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WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
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SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
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ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
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CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
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SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
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NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
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SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
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Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
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England 4 2 2 0 58 11
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