Rugby World Cup-winning South Africa is sweating over the availability of captain Siya Kolisi just 48 hours before naming their squad for Saturday’s first test against the British and Irish Lions.
Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick said in an online press conference on Monday that Kolisi and other team members who test positive for Covid-19 should be evaluated by a medical specialist before being allowed. to play.
“By tonight (Monday) we’ll know who can play,” Stick said.
Flanker Kolisi, hooker Bongi Mbonambi, mainstay Frans Malherbe, opener Handre Pollard, winger Makazole Mapimpi and utility rear François Steyn have been placed in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19.
Stick said there was a strong leadership group in Camp Springbok to choose a captain from if Kolisi, who won the Webb Ellis Trophy in 2019, couldn’t play.
Pollard, who scored 22 points in the World Cup final victory over England in Japan, is the vice-captain.
As one of the candidates for captain if Kolisi cannot play, he said he was ready to return to action after a period of isolation as close contact with players infected with Covid.
“Emotionally, physically, we are all ready,” said the 27-year-old Montpellier playmaker.
South Africa and the Lions will compete in a three-test series, which begins in Cape Town on July 24 and continues in Johannesburg on July 31 and August 7.
The Springboks have won eight of the previous 13 series, the Lions four and one have been drawn.
© 2021 AFP