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White has five days to make up his mind about Spies

Published : 20070809

Springbok coach Jake White has five days to make a decision on whether Blue Bulls flank Pierre Spies is going to the World Cup or not.

Tuesday, August 14, is the International Rugby Board's cut- off date for participating nations' final 30-man squads to be handed in and the only alterations to the teams must be injury related.

This comes after a second medical assessment of Spies contradicted initial reports that the 22-year-old Spies suffered a pulmonary embolism which resulted in his withdrawal from the Springbok squad last week in Durban.

White, though, made it clear yesterday that Spies will rejoin the Springboks at the expense of Sharks hooker Bismarck du Plessis if tomorrow's test to be done by an internationally renowned specialist in Cape Town concur with this week's results.

"It is not so much a case that the door is now open for Pierre; it was never closed.

"He was never dropped from the squad. It was more a case of him being deemed medically unfit. When he left Durban we said that we would 'see what happens' if he regained his health. And if he has, the decision is that we will revert to the original 30-man squad we named.

"We have to submit our squad list on that date, so we need to have that decision on Pierre this weekend," the coach said. "If he is back on board, it will be very hard on Bismarck but I hope everybody understands that there was never any intention of putting him on a rollercoaster ride.

"And Bismarck will remain involved. He will tour with us to Ireland and Scotland regardless of what happens with Pierre," White told the Pretoria News' sister newspaper, The Mercury, yesterday.

Spies, a devout Christian, said his participation at the World Cup was out of his hands but believes if divine intervention has anything to do with tomorrow's test then he will be on that plane with the Springboks to Paris on September 3.

"If God wants me there, I'll be there. Praise Him for what He is gonna do," Spies told the Pretoria News yesterday.

Source: The Independent

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