Eben Etzebeth is available for the Springboks’ important World Cup match against Ireland at the Stade de France.
The fire-eating lock suffered a shoulder injury, but the Bok management confirmed that he is ready for action again.
“We initially said that Eben could be on the sidelines for up to ten days, but he has recovered well and can be considered for the game,” said Deon Davids, assistant coach.
In Malcolm Marx’s absence, Etzebeth’s role in the team can become even more important – after all, he is the fire in the Bokke’s engine room.
And against a team like Ireland it is extremely important that the Springboks fire on all cylinders.
“Ireland is the best team in the world; an achievement that doesn’t just fall into your lap. They are well coached, while they can stand their ground on attack and defence. So we will undoubtedly have to be at our best. ֨”
According to Rassie Erasmus, Handré Pollard will not yet be considered for the showdown.
The 29-year-old flyhalf joined the team in Paris on Monday after the Springboks approached him to fill Marx’s shoes.
“Handré is now part of the set-up, but he will not be considered immediately – except of course if we struggle with injuries,” said SA Rugby’s director of rugby.
Pollard played Friday night’s first game in months for the Leicester Tigers after a calf injury kept him on the sidelines.
“Now we have to get him back up to speed on the team’s doings before he becomes part of the match group again.”
Erasmus wholeheartedly agreed with Davids’ summary of Ireland.
After all, the World Cup-winning coach was at the helm of Munster for a few seasons and he knows that the Irish are tough rugby opponents.
“We will have to work hard and give everything on the field. In addition to Ireland’s good attacking and defensive structures, they are also technically very correct.”
The match starts at 21:00 on Saturday and the action will be broadcast live on SuperSport.