Rugby Union: Pienaar forced to miss Test

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The Independent Online
FRANCOIS PIENAAR, the South African captain, will miss the next five tour matches in New Zealand, including the first Test, after suffering concussion during the 36-26 victory over Wellington yesterday.

Pienaar received a heavy blow to the head late in the match and collapsed as he was being helped from the field. He had to be carried to the dressing-room on a stretcher. Jannie Engelbrecht, the team manager, confirmed that Pienaar had concussion, which means that, under International Board regulations, he cannot play for three weeks.

Wellington led 19-8 at half- time but Pienaar, usually the first South African forward to the ball, inspired his team with a series of crunching tackles before he was injured.

Pienaar will miss the matches against Southland, a Hanan Shield XV, Taranaki, Waikato, and the first Test in Dunedin 9 July. He should be available for the second Test in Wellington on 23 July.

SOUTH AFRICA: T van Rensburg; J Small, P Muller (F Meiring), B Venter, C van der Westhuizen; H le Roux, J Roux; T Strauss, F Pienaar (capt, F van Heerden), S Atherton, M Andrews, R Straeuli, J le Roux (K Andrews), J Dalton (J Allan), B Swart.

WELLINGTON: S Doyle; A Taufa, S Cottrell, A Ieremia, T Umaga; S Mannix (capt), E Moncrieff; F Tiatia, G Simpson, M Russell, C Tregaskis, D Tuiavi'i, S McDowell, T Mannix, M Edwards.

France fear that they will face a backlash from the All Blacks in the second Test on Sunday after Laurie Mains, the All Blacks coach, only made two changes to the team that lost the first Test 22-8. 'It's more the reaction that will animate the All Blacks than anything else,' Pierre Berbizier, the French coach, said. 'For that reason alone the All Blacks will be much harder. But I think there's doubt now in the All Black camp.'