VIDEO: Kolbe leaves Bok gap for uncapped wings
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Springbok star Cheslin Kolbe is likely to miss the first Test match against Georgia, head coach Jacques Nienaber revealed.
Kolbe and teammate Rynhardt Elstadt are currently in France preparing with Top 14 club Toulouse for the French Final against La Rochelle this weekend.
Speaking via a virtual media briefing on Monday, Nienaber explained that the duo could miss the Test against Georgia on Friday, July 2, given the limited time to prepare.
With the Bok star, Kolbe, unlikely to be in contention for the first Test, uncapped backs Aphelele Fassi, Rosko Specman and Yaw Penxe have a chance to impress the selectors.
Specman has been in fine form for the Cheetahs and his recent stint with Stormers during the Rainbow Cup match against Bulls was another impressive display.
While Fassi and Penxe have also been in fantastic form for the Sharks.
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“Rynhardt and Cheslin are playing in the Top 14 Final,” Nienaber said, adding: “I am not sure, but I heard that it might be on either Friday or Saturday.
“They will then only be getting their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Sunday, after the Final.
“They will probably fly after that, hopefully getting into South Africa on Monday or Tuesday.
“We will be playing that Friday, so I think, as I am currently aware, that will leave them very little time to get back into the mix and our way of doing things.
“Personally, I believe it will be a tough ask for them to play against Georgia, the first Test match.
“I must also stress that there are selectors who will have a say in that.
“However, they may play the Final on Friday and might also be able to get here earlier, so logistically things can change.”
The Srpingboks’ match against Georgia marks their first Test since beating England in World Cup on November 2, 2019, and thus conditioning is the main focus for this week, Nienaber said.
“This is the last week that we are preparing without playing a Test match.
“So, from a conditioning perspective, we can put a nice load on the players, because we don’t have to taper before a Test.
“The main focus is to get everyone acquainted with our language, our lingo, our strategies, especially those coming in from their clubs, with an added conditioning focus. ”
The Springboks will face Georgia in a two-Test series in preparation for the British and Irish Lions.