No injury woes for Boks

PARIS - South Africa will be at full strength for Saturday's World Cup final against England after all their players were given a clean bill of health following their bruising semifinal win over Argentina.

PARIS - South Africa will be at full strength for Saturday's World Cup final against England after all their players were given a clean bill of health following their bruising semifinal win over Argentina.

The Springboks have been struggling with injuries in the past fortnight but were breathing a sigh of relief after getting through the Pumas game without any fresh casualties.

"Fortunately, everyone's fine," South Africa coach Jake White told a news conference yesterday. "There's a couple of bumps and bruises but everyone's available this week."

The only possible area of concern is with flanker Juan Smith who was yellow carded for a high tackle on Pumas flyhalf Juan Martin Hernandez but White said he was confident he would not receive any further penalty.

"I'd be very surprised if they see this as a citing offence, it wasn't a swinging tackle, it wasn't done with malice," White said.

"In the context of the competition there's been a lot worse taken place and gotten away with, so I'd be really concerned if there's a citing to another South African player for a tackle that's been very, very frequent in other games."

South Africa go into the final as overwhelming favourites with the bookmakers after thumping England 36-0 during the pool stage.

England have improved remarkably since the return of Jonny Wilkinson and though they have lost wing Josh Lewsey to injury, White believes they are favourites to defend the title they won in Sydney four years ago. - Reuters

X