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Cruel blow for Ulster's Coetzee as ankle surgery rules him out of World Cup

The Springbok back row suffered the injury during Saturday’s Test against Argentina.

Coetzee will go under the knife on Wednesday.
Coetzee will go under the knife on Wednesday.
Image: David Davies

THE LUCKLESS MARCELL Coetzee has been ruled out of contention for South Africa’s World Cup squad after sustaining an ankle injury during his first Test start in four years.

After earning a recall for the recent Rugby Championship campaign, Coetzee was pushing for a place in the Springboks squad for Japan, but has now been ruled out for up to 12 weeks.

The Ulster back row hurt his ankle, and also received a blow to the head, during the first half of South Africa’s 24-18 victory over Argentina in Pretoria on Saturday and will go under the knife on Wednesday. 

It is another cruel setback for a player who has endured his fair share of injury heartache in recent years, with Coetzee’s first couple of seasons at Ulster plagued by serious knee issues.

After an outstanding season for the northern province last term, Coetzee worked his way back into Rassie Erasmus’ plans this summer and won his first Test cap since August 2015 when coming off the bench against Australia last month.

With Erasmus due to name his World Cup squad next Monday, Coetzee had been handed the chance to impress against the Pumas last weekend, but must now face another period on the sidelines.

The 28-year-old will also miss the first two months of Ulster’s season. 

Lizo Gqoboka, Marvin Orie, Thomas du Toit and André Esterhuizen have also been released back to their clubs by the Springboks. 

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Ryan Bailey

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