Rugby-Bok flank Du Toit ruled out of first test against Wales

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2019 - Quarter Final - Japan v South Africa - Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo, Japan - October 20, 2019 South Africa's Pieter-Steph du Toit in action with Japan's Pieter Labuschagne. REUTERS/Matthew Childs

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) - South Africa will be without influential flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit for the first test against Wales in Pretoria on Saturday after the 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year was ruled out with a shoulder injury.

The 29-year-old is recovering from surgery on the injury but is expected to be fit for the second and third tests in Bloemfontein and Cape Town respectively, Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids said on Monday.

Du Toit, who has been plagued by injury problems in the last few years, has only played three times for the Boks since helping them lift the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.

Head coach Jacques Nienaber has plenty of options in the loose-forward department, with the uncapped Elrigh Louw a possibility.

The Boks used Franco Mostert, converted from his usual lock position, for much of the 2021 season with Du Toit sidelined, but both Rynhardt Elstadt and Kwagga Smith, who can play blindside, are also in the squad.

South Africa will name their team for the first test on Tuesday and have no other injury concerns at this stage.

Their England-based players are due to link up with the squad on Monday.

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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