FUKUROI CITY – South Africa captain Siya Kolisi says team mate Eben Etzebeth is focussed solely on Friday’s crunch Rugby World Cup Pool B clash with Italy despite allegations of racial and physical abuse levelled at the giant lock.
Etzebeth will likely be the subject of a civil case brought by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) after an alleged incident outside a bar on Aug. 25, before the Springboks left for Japan, but remains part of the squad and will line-up against Italy.
Etzebeth has denied any wrong-doing, but it is the last thing the Boks need ahead of a match they must win or face an embarrassing early exit from a tournament where they have been among the favourites.
"I don’t know what is happening, the management is dealing with it, but from our side we are just here to play and I know Eben is playing (on Friday). We haven’t had any distraction this week," Kolisi told reporters on Thursday.
"We are just preparing for the game, that is all we have been talking about. We have got an important match this week, if we slip up we are out the competition, so that is all we are focussing on."