JOHANNESBURG - Warren Whiteley has replaced fellow back-rower Willem Alberts in the South Africa squad for Rugby Championship Tests in Australia and New Zealand next month.
Alberts, who missed narrow home and away wins over Argentina this month in the southern hemisphere competition through injury, was included in a 30-man squad named three days ago.
However, his inclusion was conditional on passing a fitness test in Johannesburg and the Springboks medical staff believe Alberts has not fully recovered from his injury.
"Willem requires further investigation of the symptoms and will see specialists to determine the optimal management plan to get him back on the field," said team doctor Craig Roberts on Thursday.
Whiteley skippered the Lions this season to their best Super Rugby showing and travelled to Argentina last week, but did not play in the 33-31 Test win.
"Warren really impressed me last week - he has been playing very well and it made sense to get him back in," said South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer.
"Like Willem, he is very effective with ball in hand and also a great option at the back of the lineout.
"More importantly, Warren is a natural No.8, a position where we need cover, but he can play flank as well," Mayer said