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VIDEO: Springboks welcome back flying duo

VIDEO: Springbok wings Cheslin Kolbe and Kurt-Lee Arendse will make a timely return for the Test series against Ireland after recovering from their injuries.

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Rassie Erasmus, coach of the Springboks, confirmed on Wednesday that both Kolbe and Arendse have been cleared to play.

Kolbe had a knee injury and it was initially not clear if he will recover in time for the series against Ireland.

Arendse suffered a cheekbone fracture in the United Rugby Championship quarterfinal against Benetton but recovered sufficiently to start in the Final against Glasgow Warriors.

The Springboks will also welcome back World Cup-winning and Bulls fullback Willie le Roux after he was injured in the URC semifinal against Leinster two weeks ago.

The return of Kolbe and Arendse is good news, especially as the new man of the moment, Edwill van der Merwe (shoulder), and Makazole Mapimpi (hamstring) are both struggling with niggles and need to be managed in the next ten days ahead of the first Test against Ireland at Loftus on July 6.

“We will have to manage Edwill and Makazolo this week but both stand a chance to be available against Ireland. Faf will have to manage this week,” Erasmus confirmed.

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Erasmus delivered more good news when he revealed that Bulls and World Cup-winning wing Canan Moodie might make a return in the second Test against Ireland in Durban on July 13.

Moodie fractured his finger in the Bulls’ game against the Sharks in the regular league phase of the URC in Durban and had to undergo surgery.

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Players who will not be available for selection for the series against Ireland are Steven Kitshoff, Jean Kleyn, Lood de Jager, Cameron Hanekom, Jaden Hendrikse, Henco van Wyk, and Damian Willemse.

“We are trying to expose guys to our Springbok environment as much as possible.

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“The group is 39, but the group is 46 because we are not only preparing for Ireland, we are also preparing for Portugal.

“Of course, it looks like we have four hookers, but Jan-Hendrik Wessels is not just a hooker, he is a loosehead as well.

“Again it looks like four scrumhalves, but Faf does have a niggle. So we have three scrumhalves,” Erasmus explained.

While there have been outcries from rugby pundits and the public over the exclusion of players like Wilco Louw, Elrigh Louw, Siya Masuku, and Ruben van Heerden, Erasmus made it clear that these players might still be drafted into the Springbok squad.

“Sometimes I can understand that people are upset about Elrigh, Siya Masuku, Ruben, Wilco. But all of these boys, hopefully, if things go well against Ireland, can play against Portugal.

“Wilco is on the standby list. The thing is you’ve got Frans Malherbe and Vincent Koch who have delivered. And then you’ve got Trevor Nyakane who played in a World Cup Final.

“We will look at Trevor now. It’s not to say Trevor, or any of these players, can’t fall out of the system.

“This is a group.

“So we can always swap somebody if someone has a niggle or is not doing well.

“I do think our depth is healthy. Last year we had one flyhalf at the World Cup. Now there are five guys that we can put there.

“So yes Wilco is in the mix, he is on our radar,” the coach confirmed.

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