South Africa lose Eben Etzebeth for summer international matches
Eben Etzebeth has been ruled out of South Africa's summer international series because of a long-term foot injury.
Last Updated: 28/05/14 4:07pm
The Springboks lock will miss their clash with the World XV in Cape Town on June 7 plus two Tests with Wales and one match against Scotland.
Etzebeth has been sidelined since late last year with the injury and the South Africa Rugby Union said he needs three more weeks of rehabilitation before being considered for selection.
That leaves Northern Bulls pair Victor Matfield and Flip van der Merwe as the likely first-choice locks in the four-match build-up to the Rugby Championship.
Matfield, who came out of retirement this year at the age of 37, is also a potential stand-in Springboks skipper.
A knee injury forced captain and centre Jean de Villiers to withdraw last weekend from the June matches.
"We are continually monitoring his injury because he really wants to play for the Springboks next month," said coach Heyneke Meyer.
"However, Eben is still young, has a highly promising career ahead, and his welfare is most important to us."