Skipper Siya Kolisi suprising Springbok coaches with his fitness progress

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi takes part in a training session

FILE - Springbok captain Siya Kolisi takes part in a training session. Photo: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 28, 2023


Springbok captain Siya Kolisi is surprising his coaches every time he takes a step forward in his rehabilitation progress from a serious knee injury and resulting surgery ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Although there's still a long road ahead before the Springbok captain will make his return to the playing field, he started training with the squad almost fully and had a run-out with them during the captain's training session at Ellis Park on Friday ahead of the final Rugby Championship match against Argentina (kick-off Saturday 5.05 pm).

Kolisi is making steady strides in being ready for the World Cup and could feature in a warm-up match or two should he progress through his rehabilitation successfully.

The captain injured his knee in a match for the Sharks a few months ago and went under the knife to be ready in time for the Rugby World Cup starting in just over a month in France.

Initially, there were doubts if he would make it, but Kolisi has been ticking the right boxes to be ready in time.

His biggest test, though, will come when he starts to take contact on the knee, and that will most likely determine how soon he will be playing.

The Springbok management has indicated they will give him enough time to be ready.

"With the way Siya has been getting back into the swing of things, every time I see him, I am surprised with the things he does," said Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick.

"The way he runs, the conditioning he does. It keeps on surprising me every day. To be honest, we trust all the guys in our team like Duane (Vermeulen) who has been around as a leader. Eben (Etzebeth) has been around and we have guys like your Lukhanyo Am you know. But once again, he is one of those massive guys in our team regarding his leadership skills.

"And if you can have him back for the World Cup, it will be a bonus. It will be nice for us as a team. Because we are not only focusing on what we can achieve today, it is something we have been building since Rassie (Erasmus) came back in 2018.

"We have this strong group of leaders and they've got their own way of doing things on the field. It's good to see Siya running, even a guy like Handre who hasn't been running, I saw him today. Ox Nche was also running a bit.

"Hopefully everything will go well and they have the chance to get back into the squad."


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