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Kolisi on Rugby Championship readiness: ‘We’re a long way off’

Siya Kolisi and Mzwandile Stick during the Springbok Showdown post-match press conference at Newlands on 3 October 2020.

Siya Kolisi and Mzwandile Stick during the Springbok Showdown post-match press conference at Newlands on 3 October 2020.

Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

  • After the Springbok Showdown at Newlands, national captain Siya Kolisi admits they’re a long way off from being ready for Test rugby.
  • It’s still uncertain whether the Springboks will participate in the Rugby Championship in Australia.
  • Assistant coach Mzwandile Stick says they are “doing everything in our power to make sure the players are ready”.

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi admits they’re far from ready for the Rugby Championship as uncertainty remains whether the world champions will defend their title.

Kolisi led the Springbok Green team to a 25-9 win over Springbok Gold in a trial match at Newlands over the weekend.

It was a scrappy affair and gave an indication that the Boks could be up against it if they head to Australia for the Rugby Championship.

“We are in a good place as South African rugby with our talent, but we are a long way off in terms of fitness and match readiness from where we were at the World Cup,” Kolisi told reporters following the Springbok Showdown at his home ground.

South Africa’s participation in the event still has to be confirmed as they await on the green light from the government’s current ban on international sporting participation.

“It’s not in our hands,” assistant coach Mzwandile Stick said.

“Our job is to make sure that we prepare the players. Since the start of the year and during lockdown there was a lot of information shared between us and the players.

“We are doing everything in our power to make sure the players are ready, but because they haven’t played for six months it’s also very important to manage the players,” he said.

“We don’t want to put them under pressure and play them for 80 minutes week-in-week-out; even now you can see players getting small, little injuries. So, the most important thing right now is player welfare and how we look after them.

“If our executive and director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus, decide we have to go then we will do everything in our power to make sure we’re ready to go.”

The readiness of the All Blacks and Wallabies for the Rugby Championship will be boosted by the two countries contesting a Bledisloe Cup starting in Wellington this weekend.

The Rugby Championship is scheduled for 7 November to 12 December.

– Compiled by Sport24 staff

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