DURBAN – World Cup-winning lock RG Snyman has only a “small chance” of being fit to play the British and Irish Lions after it emerged that the burns he suffered in a fireside accident in Ireland were more severe than first thought.
Snyman, his Bok teammate Damian de Allende and two other Munster players were burned when a petrol canister caught fire at an end-of-season social gathering, and while De Allende’s recovery is on course and he is expected to play against the Lions, the lanky lock’s recovery has taken a turn for the worse and he has left the Bok camp for further treatment.
The burns to Snyman’s knee have reportedly not healed as quickly as anticipated and a specialist has suggested he undergo a skin transplant.
The first Test against the Lions is just under three weeks away (July 24), so the chances of Snyman being match-ready are slim.
On Sunday, Springbok forwards coach Deon Davids confirmed that Snyman was no longer with the Boks.
“At this stage, I think there will be a small chance that RG will be part of the British & Irish Lions Test series, but he will definitely return for the remaining Test fixtures in the Rugby Championship and end-of-year tour,” Davids said, all but eliminating Snyman from the Lions series.
In another concern over the second-row depth, Eben Etzebeth left the field in the Georgia match because of a rib injury, but it will take more than that to keep the enforcer out of the Lions series.
“Eben got a rib injury on Friday. He was assessed and was quite fine this morning,” Davids said. “The medical team is still assessing him. The head coach will then make a decision on his availability for this weekend. Maybe in a day or two, we will have a final call on him.”