Kolisi back for Springboks in massive World Cup boost

Kolisi Back For Springboks In Massive World Cup Boost
The flanker had been a major doubt ahead of the tournament in France after suffering a serious knee injury in April. Photo: Getty Images
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South Africa have received a timely boost ahead of the Rugby World Cup after captain Siya Kolisi was named in their starting XV for the warm-up fixture against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, his first appearance for the team this year.

Flanker Kolisi had been a major doubt ahead of the tournament in France after suffering a serious knee injury in April.


But along with replacement prop Ox Nche, who also returns from a spell on the sidelines for a first game in 2023, Kolisi will get the opportunity for much-needed game-time.

The Boks also have a final warm-up fixture against New Zealand in London before they tackle Scotland in a vital Pool B clash at the World Cup on September 10th.

"Siya and Ox have been working extremely hard on their rehabilitation and it’s fantastic that everything worked out according to plan to allow us to select them for this match," coach Jacques Nienaber said.

"They have two matches to build up their match fitness before the World Cup, and although it will be important to manage their load in the match, it’s vital that they return to the field as they are key players in our set-up."


Scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse, one of four number nines in the World Cup squad, also gets a first run of 2023.

"He (Hendrikse) is a top-class player and he’s been training hard, so we are pleased he’ll finally get his chance this weekend," Nienaber said.

The South Africa Rugby World Cup squad in Johannesburg. Photo: Getty Images

The team has 11 changes from the one that defeated Argentina 24-13 in Buenos Aires 10 days ago.

Hendrikse will be alongside flyhalf Manie Libbok, with Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel the centre pairing. The back three features wings Cheslin Kolbe and Canan Moodie, and fullback Willie le Roux.

Jasper Wiese is at number eight alongside flankers Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit, while the Munster duo of Jean Kleyn and RG Snyman are at lock.

Hooker Malcolm Marx will have props Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe either side of him.

Nche is part of a 6-2 split on the bench with the ‘Bomb Squad’ back in operation after the Boks had opted for a 5-3 divide between forwards and backs in recent matches. -Reuters

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