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Coetzee out of World Cup after injury

 

Bitter blow: Marcell Coetzee
Bitter blow: Marcell Coetzee
Jonathan Bradley

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster star Marcell Coetzee has been dealt a cruel injury blow on the eve of the World Cup with an ankle injury ruling him out of contention for South Africa's squad.

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The 28-year-old was taken off after just 16 minutes against Argentina on Saturday with what appeared to be a blow to the head. The Springboks management team yesterday confirmed, however, that an ankle injury sustained earlier in the game required surgery and will result in up to 12 weeks on the sidelines.

It is a particularly bitter pill to swallow for Coetzee who spoke just last week of how the carrot of representing his country again had been a huge motivator through his first two injury-plagued seasons with Ulster.

Having been a star for the province throughout last season, he had earned a Springbok recall only this summer and won his first Test cap in four years against Australia in July.

After missing the World Cup four years ago thanks to a knee injury during the preparations, the former Shark will no doubt be devastated to know he will not be a part of the 31-man panel for Japan to be announced by Rassie Erasmus next week.

A 12-week timetable to return would have Coetzee targeting Ulster's first set of European games, which this year will take place in mid-November.

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