British & Irish Lions

How Christian Eriksen's collapse shook Steven Kitshoff

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Steven Kitshoff (Gallo Images)
Steven Kitshoff (Gallo Images)
  • Springbok prop Steven Kitshoff said it was tough to see Danish footballer Christian Eriksen collapse on the field.
  • The 29-year-old Eriksen had a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the field while playing for his country against Finland on Saturday.
  • Kitshoff also wished team-mate Duane Vermeulen a speedy recovery from an ankle injury that threatens his British and Irish Lions series participation.

Powerhouse Springbok prop Steven Kitshoff said he was saddened by Christian Eriksen's collapse during the Denmark/Finland Euro 2020 game on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Eriksen collapsed because of a cardiac arrest during a Euro 2020 group game in the Danish capital of Copenhagen and had to be hospitalised.

While rugby currently doesn't have a history of players collapsing on the field due to cardiac problems, the 29-year-old Kitshoff said it wasn't good seeing a fellow athlete collapse like Eriksen did.

"Seeing an athlete get cardiac arrest or getting sick ... is very tough," Kitshoff said.

"As athletes, we put our bodies through a lot of strain, so it was unfortunate and very sad to see that scenario playing out in real life."

A pressing clean bill of health for the Springboks is the availability of Duane Vermeulen.

The number eight recently went under the knife after sustaining an ankle injury in a Rainbow Cup SA game against the Stormers.

He is in a race against time to be fit for the British and Irish Lions series, with the first Test starting on 24 July at Cape Town Stadium.

Kitshoff hoped that Vermeulen will have a very quick recovery that will make him available for the iconic series.

"Duane plays such a massive role in the team and I don't know how long his rehab is going to be," Kitshoff said.

"I just want to wish him all the best of his recovery and I hope he has a speedy one and hope he can come back to the team as quickly as possible.

"Duane will be definitely missed in the set-up, but we have a great group of leaders in the team and there are players who can step up and sacrifice everything for the jersey."

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