Three and a half months before the World Cup in France, the captain of the Springboks Siya Kolisi, operated at the end of April of a knee, is in time to participate in the competition. South African leaders announced on Thursday that there was no question of stripping him of his captaincy. The 31-year-old international third line (75 caps) was injured on April 24 during a match between his Sharks team and Munster in Durban.
Victim of a partial rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament, also affected in the meniscus, the future Racing 92 player was operated on four days later. “The basic argument is that he is our captain. We will not replace him in his role as captain, we will have substitute captains, explained the director of South African rugby, Rassie Erasmus, during a press conference in Cape Town. We hope, given his passing time (in his recovery) that he can play one of these matches.
The World Cup starts on September 8. The final is set for October 28. The first match for the reigning world champions will take place on September 10 against Scotland in Marseille. The clash in Group B against Ireland will take place on September 23 at the Stade de France. “Even if he’s not 100% ready for the game against Scotland, there will be time until the World Cup final,” Rassie Erasmus said.
“The past has shown that he does not need to participate in preparation matches”
In 2019, Siya Kolisi, at the time already injured, had hardly played in the preparation matches for the World Cup organized in Japan, only coming into play once against Argentina. “We will give him as much time as possible,” said Jacques Nienaber, South Africa coach. The past has shown that he does not need to participate in preparation matches before a World Cup. »
A first rally was organized last week in Durban with a small group including Kolisi. From Sunday, a larger group will meet again in Durban, for a three-day course. The preparation of the Boks will take place from June 12 to 30 before playing the following month the Rugby Championship, the tournament of the great nations of the Southern Hemisphere in a reduced format this year, with the receptions of Australia and Argentina and a trip to New Zealand. Three warm-up matches are scheduled for August against Argentina, Wales and New Zealand to polish their title defence.
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