JOHANNESBURG – Siya Kolisi will make his return to the Springbok fold against Argentina in Pretoria this weekend in an effort to show coach Rassie Erasmus he is fit to go to the World Cup, but it seems time has run out for other injured men like Warren Whiteley, Damian Willemse and Aphiwe Dyantyi.
Kolisi hasn’t played for the Boks this season, having picked up a knee injury during Super Rugby, but featured for Western Province in the Currie Cup last weekend.
“We won’t fast-track him into Test rugby, but we are desperate to have him involved in the World Cup,” said Bok boss Rassie Erasmus about Kolisi when the team arrived back in South Africa on Monday morning.
The Boks registered a clinical win against Argentina in Salta at the weekend to win the Rugby Championship for the first time since 2009. They had earlier beat the Wallabies in Johannesburg and drew with New Zealand in Wellington.
“Siya came through uninjured last weekend, so he’ll definitely be involved this weekend,” confirmed Erasmus. “He’ll play a limited number of minutes as we build him up slowly for the World Cup. We’re not going to rush anything.”
Kolisi has joined the Boks in Pretoria ahead of Saturday’s friendly Test against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld.
Sadly injured men like Whiteley, Willemse and Dyantyi look set to miss out on the 31-man squad bound for Japan and the World Cup.
“Some guys are in a race against time. Damian will probably play a few minutes this week, Aphiwe might play next week and Warren will now struggle to make the squad. He has had injuries and suffered setback after setback.
“You can’t take a guy to the World Cup with no game-time behind him. We’ve got some big calls to make selection-wise in the coming few days.
“I’m going to mix and match the team for this weekend’s Test, but it’s still going to be a strong team. We want to keep the momentum going so it’s important that we win and play well. It’s our last game before we go to Japan and we want to go on a high.”
The 31-man World Cup squad is set to be named on August 26.@jacq_west