Springboks

Powerful Springbok group will probably miss this 1 superstar for Georgia Test

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Toulouse winger Cheslin Kolbe on the charge against Bordeaux Begles, with scrumhalf Antoine Dupont in support. (Photo by Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)
Toulouse winger Cheslin Kolbe on the charge against Bordeaux Begles, with scrumhalf Antoine Dupont in support. (Photo by Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)
  • While the Springboks should be close to full-strength for the first Test against Georgia, they will probably miss out on one of their superstars.
  • Cheslin Kolbe and Rynhardt Elstadt still have to play the Top 14 final for Toulouse as well as receive their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine before returning to South Africa.
  • Given the tight time-frame and the fact that the Boks will ramp up their training from next week, the duo might need a gradual re-introduction.

While the Springboks' plan to use a full-strength, first-choice match squad for next weekend's first Test against Georgia remains in place, they will be missing one superstar.

Jacques Nienaber, national coach, has expressed his doubts over whether Cheslin Kolbe and, to a lesser extent, Rynhardt Elstadt will come into contention for selection.

The Toulouse duo still have to represent their French club in Friday night's Top 14 final, where they take on La Rochelle, and then have to wait for their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccination on Sunday.

"Cheslin and Rynhardt will probably only fly out after that," said Nienaber.

"That would mean they'll likely only be back in South Africa by Monday or Tuesday. We're playing on a Friday. I want to add that this is just my view - there is the input of the national selectors and logistics that also need to be taken into account - but I think they'll arrive too late to get up to speed and in the mix for the first Test."

However, the Boks will be privately emboldened by Sale Sharks falling short in the semi-finals of the English Premiership last weekend, meaning that the Du Preez twins, Jean-Luc and Dan, Faf de Klerk, Coenie Oosthuizen and the recovering Lood de Jager can join up.

And by all accounts the four fit men of that group need this week's final round of conditioning and gradual training to get up to speed as South Africa will settle into Test match mode from next week.

That also explains why Kolbe and Elstadt's potential inclusion would be difficult.

"Our objective over the past few weeks has been to just familiarise every player, as they join, to our strategies again, from attack to our 'language'," said Nienaber.

"It's essentially about alignment. This week is also important in terms of intensity. We're playing Tests from next week, so this is the last week where we can gradually increase the load before we have to go full tilt."

Springbok squad

Forwards

Thomas du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Frans Malherbe, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Joseph Dweba, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Scarra Ntubeni, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Franco Mostert, Marvin Orie, RG Snyman, Dan du Preez, Jean-Luc du Preez, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Rynhardt Elstadt, Siya Kolisi, Kwagga Smith, Marco van Staden, Duane Vermeulen, Jasper Wiese

Backs

Faf de Klerk, Herschel Jantjies, Sanele Nohamba, Cobus Reinach, Elton Jantjies, Handre Pollard, Morne Steyn, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Jesse Kriel, Wandisile Simelane, Frans Steyn, Aphelele Fassi, Cheslin Kolbe, Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi, Sbu Nkosi, Yaw Penxe, Rosko Specman, Damian Willemse



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