'We won't do anything stupid': D-day for Siya Kolisi
SPOTLIGHT: Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick said there are several suitable candidates for the Bok captaincy should Siya Kolisi not be fit for the first Test against the British and Irish Lions in Cape Town.
Kolisi (flank), Ox Nché (prop) and Makazole Mapimpi (wing) travelled to Cape Town following their mandatory COVID-19 self-isolation in Johannesburg.
However, they will all have to undergo medical screening on Monday before being cleared to begin their return to play protocols.
The trio joined several other players who also reported for duty in Cape Town in the last few days after spending time in mandatory self-isolation, including Handre Pollard, Dan du Preez (loose forward), Bongi Mbonambi and Scarra Ntubeni (both hookers), Frans Steyn (centre), Lood de Jager (lock) and Frans Malherbe (prop).
“They [Kolisi, Nche and Mapimpi] must still go and see the specialist,” Stick told reporters during an online media conference on Monday.
“Anything can happen when it comes to those results.
“I am not a medical expert, and I don’t what to start talking about medical terms. They are going to go for their final [Covid-19] test today [Monday].
Stick added: “By tonight we will probably know who is fit to play. So, whatever we announce on Wednesday [team announcement] will be the squad that will play the game.
“We also trust the process and the protocols in place, so we won’t do anything stupid by not sticking to the plans.
“I am hoping for them it is good news, but if not, we got great players in our squad if Siya is not fit to play.
“We trust the other guys that can play in that [No.6] position.
“Looking at a guy like Rynhardt Elstadt, he is winning everything in front of him and Marco van Staden had a very solid game against the Bulls.
“Any of those guys can be selected on Wednesday.”
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Plenty of leaders
Stick said they are not worried about the captaincy ahead of Saturday’s Test.
“We got great leaders in our side. Handre Pollard has been our vice-captain for a while, and we got a guy like Lukhanyo [Am] who can also lead the team.
There is also Eben [Etzebeth], Bongi [Mbonambi] and Steven Kitshoff and as a Springbok team we a grateful to have those experienced players in our squad.
“If Siya is not cleared, we are not worried about who we are going to select.
“We got players that can do the job. At the moment Siya will probably be our captain if he is cleared. If he is not cleared, we got a couple of guys that can take over from him”