Fresh doubt has been thrown on Siya Kolisi’s Rugby World Cup participation after he was left out of the remainder of the Rugby Championship by Rassie Erasmus.
Kolisi injured his knee in the Super Rugby competition and is continuing with his rehabilitation in camp.
The Springboks confirmed a touring squad of 36 players for their Castle Lager Rugby Championship matches against New Zealand and Argentina in the next three weeks, and Kolisi did not make the cut.
According to Erasmus speaking earlier this month, the Boks won’t rush Kolisi back into action: “We will probably a bit conservative with Siya to make sure he is ready for the Rugby World Cup, which is the most important part of the year.
“Siya will be training with us until we leave for New Zealand and then he will probably stay behind to play one or two Currie Cup games. Thereafter, we plan to get him back into playing Test match rugby, hopefully in the match against Argentina (in Pretoria on 17 August), and then it’s on the plane with us to Japan.
“I think if we push him now to go with us to New Zealand, we might end up with more than a 50 percent chance that he won’t go with us to the World Cup,” Erasmus said.
SA Rugby Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, coaching staff and eight players jetted out of Johannesburg soon after the team’s 35-17 victory over Australia at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday night to join an advance party of 14 players who left on Thursday.
A further 10 players take the next available routing on Sunday evening. The scheduling means that Erasmus will have 22 players on the training field for an afternoon training session in Wellington on Monday.
The eight players who travelled on Saturday evening were Eben Etzebeth, Jesse Kriel, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Rynhardt Elstadt, Trevor Nyakane, Elton Jantjies, Herschel Jantjies and Bongi Mbonambi.
Departing on Sunday are Marcell Coetzee, Francois Louw, Lood de Jager, Tendai Mtawarira, Schalk Brits, Cobus Reinach, Sbu Nkosi, Makazole Mapimpi, Frans Steyn and Vincent Koch.
In addition, a further four players, Lizo Gqoboka, Warrick Gelant, Marvin Orie and Andre Esterhuizen, will be joining the Springboks in New Zealand during the next few days. Marco van Staden and Dillyn Leyds have been released to their province until the Springboks returns from their tour.
The Springboks play New Zealand in Wellington on Saturday before travelling to Argentina to meet the Pumas in Salta on 10 August.
The full tour squad is:
Forwards (21): Schalk Brits (Vodacom Bulls), Marcell Coetzee (Ulster, Ireland), Lood de Jager (Vodacom Bulls), Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks), Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers), Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse, France), Eben Etzebeth (DHL Stormers), Lizo Gqoboka (Vodacom Bulls), Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), Vincent Koch (Saracens, England), Francois Louw (Bath, England), Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Emirates Lions), Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers), Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks), Franco Mostert (Gloucester, England), Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls), Marvin Orie (Emirates Lions), Kwagga Smith (Emirates Lions), RG Snyman (Vodacom Bulls), Duane Vermeulen (Vodacom Bulls).
Backs (15): Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks), Damian de Allende (DHL Stormers), Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England), Andre Esterhuizen (Cell C Sharks), Warrick Gelant (Vodacom Bulls), Elton Jantjies (Emirates Lions), Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, France), Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Bulls), Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks), Sbu Nkosi (Cell C Sharks), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz, Japan), Handré Pollard (Vodacom Bulls), Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints, England), Frans Steyn (Montpellier, France).
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