South Africa’s Andre Esterhuizen to miss Wales decider due to broken hand

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Harlequins centre Andre Esterhuizen has been ruled out of South Africa’s Test series decider against Wales after breaking his hand.

Springboks assistant coach Deon Davids confirmed Esterhuizen’s injury, which happened during the 13-12 second Test defeat in Bloemfontein.

Esterhuizen is expected to be sidelined for four weeks, although South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber seemed set to recall Lukhanyo Am and Damian De Allende as his starting midfield combination for the Cape Town showdown next Saturday.

Nienaber names his team on Tuesday, and is expected to revert to the overwhelming majority of his first Test line-up after making 14 changes for Bloemfontein.

That should also see the likes of World Cup captain Siya Kolisi, wing Cheslin Kolbe and scrum-half Faf de Klerk returning as South Africa seek an immediate response.

Wales’ Bloemfontein triumph was their first victory over the Springboks in South Africa, and they are now chasing a series triumph that appeared way beyond them when they lost at home to Italy in March.

“It is always awful to lose a match in the Springbok jersey,” Davids told www.sarugby.co.za.

“This Saturday is a final for us, and we will select the best team that can achieve the results we would like this weekend.

“We made a number of changes last week to expose players to the demands of Test rugby, and we believe we got a lot of answers and learned several lessons.

“We know where we are now (in terms of our depth), and which players can play at this level.

Wales
Wales players celebrate after beating South Africa in Bloemfontein (Themba Hadebe/AP)

“There are small margins and not a lot of opportunities in the opposition’s 22 in Test rugby, so decision-making in that area will be crucial and we have to make the most of the opportunities we create.

“They (Wales) are prepared to go to dark places to challenge you, and they present a massive challenge in stopping mauls and getting stuck into scrums.

“So, we will have to impose ourselves for the full 80 minutes.”

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