The return of rugby veterans Handre Pollard and Siya Kolisi is still shrouded in mystery, so Springboks supporters throughout the country should be ready to hold their breath. Their absence has left a glaring void in the Springboks’ roster for the early going of the Rugby Championship.
Both in the forward pack and the backline, Pollard and Kolisi are two legends of the sport. Their absence has such a profound effect on the group that it causes disruptions in the team’s dynamic, strategy, and morale. As a result, Springboks fans across the country are monitoring the team’s rehabilitation process with the same intensity as they would if the game were deadlocked in the last seconds.
A Game of Waiting
There are more injury concerns for the Springboks than only Pollard and Kolisi. Ox Nche will be out for another four to five weeks with a pectoral muscle injury. Even Jaden Hendrikse, who has been sidelined by a shoulder injury, is hoping to be fit for the Rugby Championship final against Argentina. The Springboks are content to bide their time and make sure their key players are fully match-fit before throwing them into the melee, but the spotlight continues to shine brightly on Pollard and Kolisi.
Future Hopes for the World Cup
Rugby365 recently reported Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber on the topic: “If you think of Siya and Handré, I would say that they have proved themselves in the past, so I think that would count in their favor a little bit.” Given their distinguished history of service to South African Rugby, Nienaber has complete confidence in the duo. But time is of the essence. Fans and analysts alike are waiting with bated breath for Tuesday, 8 August, when the final Springboks roster will be released.
Nienaber continued by citing earlier instances where both players, after returning from injury, showed their mettle. He made a point of mentioning Kolisi’s incredible showing at the 2019 World Cup even though he had never played a professional sport before. Similarly, Pollard was able to come back from a knee injury and play a significant role for the British and Irish Lions.
The Springboks are keeping a level head as the Rugby Championship progresses and the World Cup approaches. Nienaber takes a measured approach, saying, “Hopefully, they will be back before the World Cup, but if it isn’t, we will make a call on them towards the end of the tournament.” Those who care about their long-term health and performance will appreciate his promise not to rush their return.
South Africans are holding their breath as the sun goes down, anticipating the safe return of their beloved rugby players. And when they do return to the field, you can be sure that the sound of their triumphant return will be heard from the open fields of the Free State to the streets of Johannesburg.
About the Author:
Ronald Moyo is an acclaimed sports journalist and avid rugby enthusiast based in Johannesburg. With over a decade of experience reporting on South Africa’s rugby scene, Ronald brings a wealth of knowledge and a sharp analytical perspective to every article.