Boks missing star trio
South Africa loses key players for Wales Tests
By Rebecca Syrocki. Last Updated: May 23, 2008 1:08pm
Henson and Burger absent for Tests
South Africa will be without World Cup-winners Schalk Burger, Fourie du Preez and Jacque Fourie for both summer Tests against Wales.
Scrum-half Du Preez is recovering from a fractured hand while both centre Fourie and the powerful loose-forward Burger are out of action because of knee ligament damage.
Saracens-bound loose-forward Wikus Van Heerden has been ruled out by the Springboks for the first Test following knee surgery.
Wales are missing six of the side that won the Grand Slam in March so will be pleased to hear of South Africa's current injury report.
Wales face the world champions on June 7 with the absence of leading scrum-halves Mike Philips and Dwayne Peel, plus full-back Lee Byrne, centre Gavin Henson, flanker Martyn Williams and hooker Huw Bennett in Bloemfontein.
Bolla Conradie has been called into the Springboks 41-man training squad following the injuries to du Preez and Bulls scrum-half Heini Adams, though he may return in time for the second Test from a bone bruise.
Bulls full-back Zane Kirchner and Cheetahs loose forward Duanne Vermeulen will be unavailable for the Wales Tests.
Pieter de Villiers, the Springboks new head coach, will confirm his final squad of 30 for the Test on Wednesday.
Clermont Auvergne and Perpignan have released John Smit and Percy Montgonery so they can play for South Africa. Bath fly-half Butch James will also be available.