RULED OUT: Bok centre Jesse Kriel

This after Jesse Kriel was ruled out of the second Test yesterday after suffering a concussion in the 37-14 win over France in the first Test last weekend.

To make matters worse, Damian de Allende has returned to Cape Town after not recovering from his quad injury in time to prepare for the Tests, with Lukhanyo Am already withdrawn because of a cheekbone fracture.

There was some good news from the camp, though, with Lionel Mapoe, Am’s replacement in the squad, being declared fit and ready to go after shaking off his hamstring strain.

Mapoe is set to step straight back into the starting XV or coach Allister Coetzee could decide to bring in Francois Venter, who was called up as an injury replacement yesterday.

At the start of his tenure as coach of the national team, Coetzee paired up De Allende and Mapoe for his first five games.

Since then, he has had six different combinations in 13 Tests in his midfield.

This weekend Bok fans might see a seventh, with Jan Serfontein likely to pair up with Mapoe. It will be the first time they will man the Bok midfield from the start, with Mapoe only having combined with De Allende in his five starts for the national team.

Even if Coetzee does opt to play Venter, it will be a fresh combination with Venter and Serfontein not having started a Bok Test together yet.

Meanwhile, the win over France in the first Test saw South Africa climb the world rankings from seventh to fifth.

Coach Coetzee’s charges dropped to an all-time low at the end of last season after suffering defeats to England, Italy and Wales on their end of year tour.

France, meanwhile, have dropped down to eighth after the defeat.