Kolbe an injury doubt for Springboks' first away game since 2019
World champions South Africa hope to exploit the Wallabies’ ball in hand approach in next Sunday’s Rugby Championship clash. The Gold Coast meeting will be the first between the sides since the Springboks won the 2019 World Cup, the visitors using their quarantine period to recover after series wins against Argentina and the British and Irish Lions, but they may have to play minus Cheslin Kolbe.
The Wallabies are licking wounds after three comprehensive losses to the All Blacks when their daring offence so often resulted in points against from turnovers. Springboks assistant coach Deon Davids has been watching and isn’t surprised by Dave Rennie’s offensive ambitions, even if they haven’t quite come off yet.
“That is part of his approach; to have this attacking philosophy and he likes his teams to play with the ball in hand,” he said. “Their attack’s really improved but they would look back in terms of execution and decision making, it wasn’t… as good as they would have wanted.
“They will look at it and try to correct it. (It will be) high intensity, (we will need to) defend multiple phases against a team that likes to keep the ball in hand. But be patient and, in terms of execution, if you get an opportunity, use it.”
Winger Kolbe (leg) is in doubt for Sunday’s Springboks game, the first of four Tests in four consecutive weeks across Queensland. Davids said all other touring members were available for selection, meaning World Cup-winning No8 Duane Vermeulen and half-back Faf de Klerk could both make their injury returns.
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Under-fire director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has not travelled with the squad ahead of a World Rugby hearing after an hour-long video critique of Australian referee Nic Berry following their first Test loss to the Lions. The Springboks have won their four games since that July 24 loss and they sit one point behind the All Blacks following two rounds of the Rugby Championship.
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