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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 July 2007, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
Du Plessis replaces injured Spies
Bismarck du Plessis
Du Plessis has been given his chance to play in France
South Africa have named hooker Bismarck du Plessis as a replacement for injured loose forward Pierre Spies, who has been ruled out of the Rugby World Cup.

Spies, 22, who has been the Springboks number eight this year has clots in his lungs and is expected to be out for between six and eight months.

"It's a huge loss for the team - he would have played a huge role in our campaign," said coach Jake White.

Du Plessis made his Test debut against Australia earlier in July.

He will act as understudy to captain John Smit and reserve hooker Gary Botha.

There was no reason given as to why Spies was replaced by a hooker and not another loose forward.

On Spies, White added: "It would have been fascinating to see him in action with the likes of Schalk Burger at the World Cup."

606: DEBATE
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Spies, who was selected as South Africa's most promising player of 2006, said he had no choice but to accept the fact that he would miss out on the sport's showpiece tournament.

"It would have been great to be in France, but I must accept that it is good that they diagnosed the problem early," said Spies.

"Matters could have been worse had I continued playing."

The selectors are scheduled to meet on Tuesday to decide on Spies's replacement, with Blues Bulls flanker Pedrie Wannenburg and Lions number eight Jacques Cronje both believed to be under consideration.

Former Australia coach Eddie Jones
I would love to work with the Springboks at the World Cup

Eddie Jones

Meanwhile, former Australia coach Eddie Jones is on the brink of becoming South Africa's technical advisor at the World Cup.

Jones is already helping out on an informal basis at training, and White is in favour of handing him a longer-term role.

"My loyalty at the World Cup will be with the team that I am working with," he said.

"That is the way professional coaching is these days. The game has changed.

"There are a few small things that need to be sorted out, but obviously I hope to be working for the Springboks.

"An approach was made and I am agreeable to it. I would love to work with the Springboks at the World Cup and I am really looking forward to doing so.

"There is a lot of talent in this squad and it has a lot going for it."



SEE ALSO
Understrength Boks anger Aussies
25 Jun 07 |  Rugby Union
Ndungane & Spies handed SA debuts
12 Jul 06 |  Internationals
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment


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