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South Africa 16:05 Australia

Double blow for Springboks

Van der Merwe and Brussow to miss All Blacks clash, Aplon doubtful

Last Updated: 26/07/11 9:57am

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Van der Merwe: Rib problem means he will not face All Blacks

Van der Merwe: Rib problem means he will not face All Blacks

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South Africa's injury problems have been compounded after forwards Flip van der Merwe and Heinrich Brussow were ruled out of the Tri-Nations clash with New Zealand.

Lock Van der Merwe injured his ribs during the 39-20 loss to Australia on Saturday, while flanker Brussow is sidelined with a hamstring strain.

Full-back Gio Aplon is suffering from back and shoulder injuries after falling awkwardly against the Wallabies and is a doubt for the contest against the All Blacks in Wellington.

The Springboks are missing over 20 front-line players and were further weakened when lock Johann Muller returned home due to a hamstring complaint.

Muller's place in the squad was taken by uncapped second row Gerhard Mostert, but Van der Merwe will not be replaced as coach Peter de Villiers says his side have "run out of locks".

South Africa were well beaten in their Tri-Nations opener against the Wallabies and now have to travel to the odds-on tournament favourites with severely depleted ranks.

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