The former Springbok who was shot during a house robbery in South Africa is now fighting for his life after his condition took a dramatic turn for the worst.

Naka Drotske, who represented the Boks in 26 tests and was a member of the 1995 World Cup winning squad, was at his brother's house in Kameeldrift when a group of heavily armed robbers attacked their group, including former teammate Os Du Randt.

Drotske was shot three times and had lost "almost a third of his blood" before he reached the hospital but was stabilised in an intensive care unit.

It was reported by his wife, Marzanne, that the former Cheetahs coach was recovering "fantastically well" last week following two successful operations, but was re-admitted to hospital on Tuesday after his condition deteriorated.

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Spokesperson for Mediclinic Bloemfontein, Barbara Steenkamp, said in a statement to Sport24 that Drotske had suffered "massive intestinal bleeding" that had led to hypovolemic shock.

"He is getting blood now," she said. "He has acute respiratory distress syndrome with a lung infection for which he is being sedated and ventilated. Various organs have been affected."

Steenkamp reassured that doctors were able to stabilise Drotske but said it wasn't to say the condition would remain that way.

Tinus Drotske's partner, Nadia Jooste, and three children aged 7, 11, and 13 were in the house getting ready to have dinner when the four men, wearing balaclavas and brandishing pistols, entered through a sliding door.

"One had tear gas and he went straight for Os' eyes," an emotional Tinus Drotske told Netwerk24.

"I think they were trying to take out the biggest guy first. They were shouting and waving their guns around.

"My brother jumped up just as they were spraying him [Du Randt]. He rugby tackled all four of them while trying to cover his eyes. He tackled them over the table and out the door. That's when three of them started shooting at him."

Drotske and Du Randt, who played a combined 106 tests for South Africa and were part of the Springboks' 1995 World Cup triumph, forced the robbers to flee empty-handed.

Police spokesperson Kay Makhubela said last month that a case of attempted murder and house robbery had been opened, but no arrests had yet been made.