Springboks continue to wait on Handre Pollard, Siya Kolisi fitness

Siya Kolisi Springboks
Siya Kolisi.

Flyhalf Handre Pollard has all but been ruled out of South Africa’s 2023 Rugby Championship campaign.

Pollard has been sidelined by a calf injury. His availability for this year’s Rugby World Cup, too, remains in the balance.

Lock Eben Etzebeth and scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse, meanwhile, are recovering from shoulder injuries. Captain Siya Kolisi recently underwent knee surgery.

What was said about Handre Pollard’s injury

“Our only real injury concern for the Rugby Championship is Handre. Eben and Jaden’s test results are looking good,: said Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus.

“It’s a calf injury that Handre injured again when he played for Leicester. At this stage he’s in a similar position to Siya, who could be available for the World Cup warm-up games.”

Jacques Nienaber’s comments

The Springboks’ Rugby Championship campaign will start against Australia in Pretoria on 8 July 2023. This will be followed by 15 July’s match against New Zealand in Auckland. A 29 July meeting with Argentina in Johannesburg will follow.

“As we said last week, it’s tough to prepare to face Australia because we’re not sure if they’ll play with an Eddie Jones or Dave Rennie mindset, so the key for us is to focus on ourselves,” added Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber.

“We have to be able to adapt to whatever they throw at us on the day. I’m not entirely sure how Australia are working with their squads.

“I’ve seen they have two squads with different names, and that one squad will face us and the other remain behind. So everyone is gearing up for the Rugby Championship to build momentum before the World Cup.”

Nienaber’s tenure will end after South Africa’s World Cup campaign, which will start against Scotland in France on 10 September 2023.

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