Rugby Union: Mallett rues twin injuries

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The Independent Online
SOUTH AFRICAN rugby, reeling from a humiliating 28-0 defeat by New Zealand, yesterday suffered another setback when captain Gary Teichmann was ruled out for up to six weeks with a new knee injury.

Coach Nick Mallett, under fire following the Springboks' dismal performance against the All Blacks on Saturday and against Wales a fortnight earlier, said Teichmann would not be available for next week's Tri-Nations match against Australia in Brisbane.

"It is not allied to the knee injury which kept him out earlier this season," said Mallett. "It is either soft tissue or deep bruising at the top of the kneecap."

Flanker Corne Krige will also return to South Africa tomorrow with what Mallett termed a "devastating" cruciate ligament injury suffered in the Carisbrook game.

Mallett was also forced to clarify remarks he made after Saturday's match that most people in South Africa did not know much about rugby.

The comments angered fans back home, but Mallett said: "What I referred to was behind-the-scenes events prior to the match which can adversely affect the team, about which the public and media may not always be aware.

"I apologise if my comments were interpreted in any other way. I appreciate and cherish the support of South African supporters," he added.

Matthew Burke, recapturing his best form after nine months out following a shoulder reconstruction, scored 23 points in a starring role for the Australian Barbarians in their 33-24 win over the second-string All Blacks in Melbourne on Saturday.

Burke, pressing for a full Wallaby recall, scored a try and kicked four penalty goals and three conversions.

n Lawrence Dallaglio should know his fate by the end of this month, RFU Management Board chairman Brian Baister said yesterday. The inquiry investigating allegations surrounding Dallaglio will report within the next three weeks.