Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber backs Siya Kolisi to be fit in time for World Cup

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber backs Siya Kolisi to be fit in time for World Cup

The Springbok team management are confident that captain Siya Kolisi will have recovered fully from his injury in time to play a leading role in their World Cup defence in France in four months.

Kolisi sustained a serious knee injury in the Sharks' last United Rugby Championship pool game against Munster on April 22, for which he has since undergone surgery.

This has thrown his World Cup hopes into doubt, but Bok coach Jacques Nienaber has given a positive update on the 31-year-old's rehabilitation.

"In terms of the full extent of his knee injury, I don't think I'm qualified medically and I think that's something for Siya to discuss in terms of medical and personal information. I don™t think it's my place to do that," Nienaber said.

"In terms of where he needs to be with regards to recovery and rehabilitation, I think he's on track and he's hitting his markers currently.

"There will be specific markers in terms of where he needs to be on a specific day and ticking boxes, but he's currently ticking his boxes.

"When he'll return will depend on how he's ticking his markers, but do we think he'll be ready for the World Cup? Yes, we do.

"Remember that in 2019, Siya didn't participate in matches until the Argentina game in Tshwane, from where he got a start against Japan in Japan.

"Siya's a guy who™s done it before and we'll give him enough time because history has shown us he doesn't need Test match time before a World Cup.

"He can slot in and produce performances."

Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus also backed his skipper to be ready for France in September, and made it clear only stand-in captains will be selected in the interim.

"The bottom line is that he's our captain and we won't replace him in that role. We'll have stand-ins," Erasmus said.

"With the three warm-up games that we have, we believe that in the way that he's hitting those markers, he may feature in one of those games.

"Even if he's not 100 percent ready for the Scotland Test, it's a long way away from the World Cup final.

"With him being our captain, having been there and done that, it's maybe the match before the World Cup.

"If he's hitting the markers, which he's currently doing, and we can get him with the conditioning team and we™re almost match fit in how we simulate training, he's the kind of guy who can do it before the World Cup.

"We're fairly confident that he can go to the World Cup."