South Africa and Ulster fans have shown their sympathy for loose forward Marcell Coetzee who was ruled out of next month’s World Cup with an ankle injury after a number of injury-plagued years. 

Ulster fans had campaigned all last season for the 28-year-old to make Rassie Erasmus’ Springboks squad and their wishes were answered when he was selected for the Rugby Championship. 

It looked likely he would make it to the World Cup, but he sustained an ankle injury last weekend against Argentina that will require surgery and put him out for 12 weeks. 

Fans at Ravenhill have experienced highs and lows since Coetzee arrived in 2016. He only managed five starts in his first two seasons due to persistent knee injuries, but he remained injury-free last season and was rightfully handed a recall to the Springboks. 

But injury has now struck again, leaving fans of his club and country to highlight his terrible luck on Twitter. 

#Repost @Springboks
Four years. Of hard work. Of getting up when life knocks you down. Of believing that you will play for the Boks again. Of grabbing your chance like it is a turn-over ball. That is @marcell_coetzee for you.

After being overlooked by Heyneke Meyer for the 2015 World Cup, some fans fear that this was his last chance to compete in the global showcase as he will be 32 by the time of the 2023 tournament in France. Also, given what his body has already been through, he may no longer be on the Test radar. 

Ulster fans will be hoping this latest injury will not keep him out too long and they will hope he will make the same impression next season as he did last. This is what has been said: 

Such heartbreaking news for such a talented player. #comebackstronger

— Wade Taylor (@wade_taylor) August 19, 2019

Gutted for @marcell_coetzee, such a rotten turn of luck.

— Gordon Graham (@GordyG1984) August 19, 2019

Devastated for him…puts his body on the line every time. Hope he has a speedy recovery and comes home safely to Ravenhill

— daftmare358 (@daftmare358) August 19, 2019

No luck at all. Can’t imagine how Marcell must be feeling right now, especially after such a good comeback season last year. Gutted for him.

— Ross Barnett (@rbarnett08) August 19, 2019

— David Patterson (@DPatz13) August 19, 2019

Its been really tough for Marcell and you have to feel him. This string of injuries is just not good at all.

— Mvano Mgam (@MgamMvano) August 19, 2019

sad news regards Marcell Coetzee, just can’t catch a break with injuries

— Rugby Digest (@RugbyDigestSA) August 19, 2019

Feel for Marcell Coetzee. Would’ve been ideal looseforward squad member at RWC. Covers all three positions and experienced. At 28 maybe his final realistic shot at RWC is over.

— Craig Ray (@craigray11) August 19, 2019

Well, pity for Marcel he is really unlucky with injuries. The others were expected. This does mean that Kwagga is almost certain of going now

— Warface player (@BryceAllies) August 19, 2019

Wonder if that’s the reason Elstadt and Kwagga are still in the squad? If Marcell was still fit maybe we would have had our 31.

— Dean Kietzmann (@DeanKietzmann) August 19, 2019

The injury to Coetzee has also raised some questions among Springboks fans regarding the balance of their back row, as he could cover both flanker and No8. 

With Warren Whiteley also looking like he will miss the World Cup, there are few options in the No8 behind Duane Vermeulen. However, fans also feel this injury all but confirms Kwagga Smith’s place on the plane to Japan. 

It is never nice to see anyone miss a World Cup through injury, but it is made worse knowing what Coetzee has been through over the past four years. 

WATCH: Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus and captain Schalk Brits talk to the media after last weekend’s win over Argentina in Pretoria

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