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Jacques Nienaber shares important injury update on key players ahead of World Cup

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Saturday Jul 22, 2023

South Africa Head Coach Jacques Nienaber is hopeful that both captain Siya Kolisi and Handre Pollard will have recovered from their respective injuries in time for their World Cup warm-up games.

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Kolisi tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee playing for the Sharks back in April – an injury that put a halt to any world cup preparations at the time.

The Rugby Championship has been a perfect opportunity for the current World Champions to put together the different player combinations and iron out any creases that currently reside in their squad – they have, however, also had to do it without talismanic fly half Handre Pollard who suffered a calf injury in the Premiership semi-final whilst playing for Leicester.

“We didn’t think they would make the Rugby Championship but after that in the warm-up games then hopefully,” said Nienaber,

“With rehab, you start a process or a rehab programme, let’s say there is swelling or a loss of range or movement, you probably go a step back.

“If everything goes well then hopefully they will make the warm-up game against Wales but again I reiterate when I say hopefully – you can’t predict.”

Nienaber was keen to stress the importance of not rushing the players back, particularly in such an important part of the rugby calendar: “One thing I will definitely tell you is that we will not push them or force them to play if they aren’t medically right and confident.

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“Confidence is something they will try and get out of training sessions and then they will probably have to build their confidence in games. But hopefully, we can get them back but it will be what it will be.”

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