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Alberts replaced by Whiteley for Bok tour

The team doctor says Alberts requires further investigation.

A Springbok flag at a pub in Sunninghill during the rugby championship game between South Africa and New Zealand on 14 September 2013. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Willem Alberts has been ruled out of the Springboks' Rugby Championship tour to Australia and New Zealand and will be replaced in the 30-man squad by Warren Whiteley.

Alberts missed both Test victories against Argentina because of a hamstring injury and he underwent a fitness test on Thursday afternoon. Although his hamstring is recovering well, he experienced some nerve irritation in his lower back and was sent for scans.

Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts says Alberts's symptoms require further investigation.

"Willem requires further investigation of the symptoms and will see a number of specialists to determine the optimal management plan to get him back performing on the field as soon as possible."

Whiteley, who toured with the Springboks to Argentina last week, will join the team in Johannesburg on Friday morning.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said that although Juan Smith was on standby, the player requested more time to work on his match fitness.

"Juan has very high standards and he wasn't happy with his performance in Salta."

"Warren really impressed me last week, he's been playing very well and it made sense to get him back in. Like Willem, he is very effective with ball in hand and also a great option at the back of the lineout.

The Springboks play Australia in Perth on 6 September and take on New Zealand in Wellington on 13 September.

The squad will be based in Johannesburg before their departure to Western Australia on Saturday.

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