27 Sep 2015

Nervous wait for Springboks

1:42 pm on 27 September 2015

The South Africa captain Jean de Villiers has been sent for X-rays of his jaw after his side bounced back from their shock loss to Japan to trounce Samoa 46-6 and climb to the top of Pool B.

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers.

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers. Photo: Photosport

De Villiers was the only player taken to hospital but coach Heyneke Meyer says several others had been hurt in the match.

South African officials said they would release full details on Monday (NZT), clearly anxious about the possibility that De Villiers' World Cup jinx has struck again.

Injury has blighted the centre's previous tournaments, with only handful of his 109 caps over the past 13 years coming at the World Cup.

De Villiers missed out on the 2003 tournament, six months after he suffered a serious knee injury five minutes into his debut against France.

He is officially a 2007 winner, though he tore his biceps during the opening game of the tournament in France and took no further part as the Boks went on to be crowned champions.

At the last World Cup four years ago, he went off after only 25 minutes of the first game against Wales with a rib injury and made only a cameo appearance later on as South Africa went out at the quarter-final stage.

The 34-year-old's inclusion in the squad for this year's tournament is something of a medical miracle.

Last November, he dislocated his knee cap and sustained significant ligament damage against Wales.

Though given little chance of playing again, the resilient De Villiers made a remarkable recovery to be recalled for the recent southern hemisphere Rugby Championship, only to break his jaw against Argentina last month.

"It is the other side of his jaw that is hurt. We wait and see," said Meyer.

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