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Rassie Erasmus on Etzebeth prognosis and Kriel incident

By Ian Cameron
Eben Etzebeth of South Africa acknowledges the crowd after the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between South Africa and Scotland at Stade Velodrome on September 10, 2023 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has confirmed that star lock Eben Etzebeth is set to be sidelined for roughly 10 days.


The Sharks enforcer came off after just 30 minutes during South Africa’s 18-3 victory over Scotland in Marseille in their Rugby World Cup opener at the Stade Velodrome.

“It’s always tough in a game like that – opening game of the World Cup – but I do like the honesty when he said ‘Guys, I’ve got a sore shoulder’. You know, 85-per-cent-ready Eben won’t be able to contain a team like Scotland.

“At this stage it looks like a seven to ten day injury, like Jean Kleyn was, and like Canan (Moodie) was.

“So there is some time to manage him, but the scans will give us a definite on it. We might find out it’s much more serious, but at this stage it looks like a ten-day injury.


“Today we’ll probably have hundred per cent clarity, I believe, on Eben and what’s the extent of that. Then we’ll have to make the right call, because we can’t have players who’s 70 or 80 per cent (who don’t) turn to a hundred per cent in the next seven to ten days. We will have to think clearly.”

He also spoke to press speculation around the possible citing of centre Jessie Kriel, who collided with Jack Dempsey just two minutes into the game.


“We are really comfortable; there hasn’t been a citing (and) I’m pretty sure there won’t be a citing.

“If it isn’t direct head contact – and it wasn’t, it was tackled on the ball and then he moved up after tackling on the ball. I’ve seen a few stills where people just (show) after direct contact to the ball.

“If you took it a millisecond or a second or two back, you’ll see that he clearly tackled on the ball. So we’re very happy with how it was refereed.

“I think Finn Russell’s call was much closer. Unfortunately, he got injured then, I think that deflected a little bit from the action that he did, but we were happy with the decision that was made.


“Obviously there’s some time to do citings still but I’ll be very surprised for the indirect contact – with first contact on the ball – that there will be anything from that.”



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