Connect with us

International Rugby

Springboks confirm doubt remains over availability of isolating players

Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick has confirmed that Siya Kolisi and Makazole Mapimpi remain doubtful for the 1st Test against the British & Irish Lions

Makazole Mapimpi - Springboks
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

The Springboks assistant coach Mzwandile Stick has confirmed that Siya Kolisi and Makazole Mapimpi remain doubtful for the 1st Test against the British & Irish Lions

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Kolisi and Mapimpi were among a number of players who tested positive for Covid-19 following the win over Georgia two weeks ago and were forced into 10-day isolation.

Stick confirmed that while most of the players have been given the green light to return, Kolisi and Mapimpi are among those who will first need to undergo heart and lung tests and be cleared by a specialist, with a final call on their availability against the Lions set for Monday evening.

Either way, Stick said the Boks were confident they have the players they need to challenge the Lions in Saturday’s opening Test match.

“We trust the process and protocols in place. We want to stick by the plans. I am hoping for them to get great news, but if not, we have got great players in our squad,” he said.

“Even if Siya is not fit to play, we trust all the other guys who can play in that position. You look at a guy like Rynhardt Elstadt, Marco van Staden, Jasper Wiese, any of those guys could be selected. We trust them and believe in them that they have what it takes to do the job for us.

“We have got great leaders in our side. For example, if I can mention Handre Pollard has been vice-captain for a while. We have a guy like Lukhanyo, who can also lead a team. We’ve got Eben, Bongi, Steven Kitshoff. That’s something we as a team are grateful of, having those experienced players in our squad. If Siya is not fit, we are not worried at all about who we select at all. We have got players who can do that job.”

The last group of previously quarantined players and staff will arrive in the Mother City by Monday afternoon, Stick said, and the players were excited at the prospect of all being together once again.

“We are in a good space after all the challenges we faced. It’s a Test match week, so I feel comfortable saying that things will be almost 100% normal again.

“To be honest, with everything that’s happened, I believe [the Covid disruption] happened at the right time. We have everyone back, it’s a good position to be in.”

Register Now with Hollywoodbets Mobile

More in International Rugby

Official Partners