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Grant Williams called up to Springbok squad

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Grant Williams will join the Springbok squad in Nelson Mandela Bay on Monday as scrumhalf cover for the next stage of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, following the withdrawal of Jaden Hendrikse due to a leg fracture.

Hendrikse was stretchered off the field after seven minutes of action off the replacements bench following a tackle in the team’s 29-10 victory against Argentina at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday, and has been ruled out of the remainder of the competition.

Williams, who has made a strong statement on the field for the Cell C Sharks, joins Faf de Klerk, Herschel Jantjies and Cobus Reinach as the scrumhalves in the squad.

De Klerk and Jantjies were both on the injury list in the last two weeks but are on track with their recovery from a leg strain and hip pointer niggle respectively and will be available for selection for the Tests against Australia and New Zealand.

“It is sad to lose a player like Jaden who was really beginning to find his feet in the system and starting to make his mark in Test rugby, but unfortunately injuries are part of the game,” said Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber.

“We are lucky to have a handful of talented scrumhalves in the country, and as coaches we have been impressed with Grant’s form this season.

“He will certainly benefit from being in the squad and being exposed to our structures and systems, and we are looking forward to seeing what he has to offer.”

The Springboks, who will enjoy some time off for the next few days to freshen up mentally and physically following a jam-packed schedule in the last two-and-a-half months, will remain in Nelson Mandela Bay until SANZAAR announces where the remaining Castle Lager Rugby Championship fixtures will be hosted.