Malherbe called in as Mtawarira goes home


South Africa yesterday called up uncapped prop Frans Malherbe to replace Tendai Mtawarira, who is returning home after suffering heart palpitations, for the rest of the Springboks’ tour of Ireland and Britain.

Mtawarira, known as “The Beast”, had a recurrence of his condition ahead of Saturday’s Test against Ireland. He was admitted to a Dublin hospital and discharged within hours after routine tests.

Team management said Mtawarira was due to return to South Africa late yesterday.

The decision to bring in Malherbe (21) from Western Province, was taken as Jannie du Plessis sustained a mild ankle sprain in the 16-12 victory over Ireland.

“We’ve consulted with Beast 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 27-year-old loosehead travelled with the rest of the Springbok squad to Edinburgh on Sunday ahead of this weekend’s second match of their three-match tour.

“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,” said team doctor Craig Roberts.

“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.”

Wales lock Alun-Wyn Jones was due to undergo a scan yesterday on the shoulder injury suffered during Saturday’s 26-12 home defeat against Argentina.

Jones went off late in the first half and his uncapped Ospreys colleague Lloyd Peers has been called up to train with the Wales squad as temporary cover.

Centre Jamie Roberts, though, could be in the selection mix for Friday night’s Millennium Stadium appointment with Samoa.

Roberts suffered “mild concussion” against the Pumas and is following the required protocols.

Backrow forward Ryan Jones (shoulder) and centre Ashley Beck (hip) are on course to train fully this week.

New Zealand flanker Adam Thomson and Australia lock Rob Simmons were cited yesterday following their teams’ weekend rugby internationals against Scotland and France respectively.

Thomson was cited for “stamping or trampling” on the head of Scotland’s Alasdair Strokosch, for which he was yellow carded in the All Blacks’ 51-22 victory at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Simmons, on as a replacement at the Stade de France on Saturday, was cited for a dangerous “tip tackle” on flanker Yannick Nyanga in the second half of the match won 33-6 by France.

Hearings for both players will be held before independent IRB-appointed judicial officers in London tomorrow.

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