Fracture knocks Kirchner out of Tri-Nations

FULLBACK Zane Kirchner, who made his international debut in the final Test against the British and Irish Lions, will miss South Africa's Tri-Nations home matches after suffering a fractured cheekbone.

FULLBACK Zane Kirchner, who made his international debut in the final Test against the British and Irish Lions, will miss South Africa's Tri-Nations home matches after suffering a fractured cheekbone.

The 25-year-old picked up the injury in the Blue Bulls's Currie Cup match against the Lions in Pretoria on Saturday. The Bulls said yesterday that Kirchner would undergo surgery and be out of rugby for at least four weeks.

Kirchner enjoyed a magnificent Super 14 campaign for the Bulls. Springbok coach Peter de Villiers called him up for his Test debut once the Boks had clinched the series against the British and Irish Lions with victories in the first two Tests in Durban and Pretoria.

Kirchner had a solid debut in South Africa's 28-9 defeat in the third Test in Joburg on July 4.

The Boks return to action on July 25 with their opening Tri-Nations match against New Zealand in Bloemfontein, followed by games against the All Blacks in Durban on August 1 and Australia in Cape Town a week later. - Reuters

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