The Springboks will be willing to make room on the plane to France for Handré Pollard and Siya Kolisi, even if they don’t have much game time in the run-up to the World Cup behind the plate.
“The thing with Siya and Handré is that they have shown countless times what they are capable of at international level and that undoubtedly counts in their favour,” said Jacques Nienaber during a Springbok media session in Pretoria.
The two players are currently busy with rehabilitation work after suffering a knee and calf injury respectively.
According to Nienaber, Kolisi and Pollard have found themselves in a similar situation before and they were able to pass the return test with flying colours.
“In 2019, Siya had little chance to play until the last warm-up match against Japan and he was excellent during the World Cup tournament. The same applies to Handré in the run-up to the British and Irish Lions tour in 2021 and he ended up playing a key role in our series victory,” said the Springbok coach.
“So they can make their comeback from injury and be successful. They have to complete their rehabilitation work and if they are available, we will select them.”
He added that the two players will not be put under undue pressure.
“One can never be 100% sure when it comes to injuries. The only assurance I can give is that we will not rush them or force them to play if they are not ready yet.”
In Kolisi’s absence, Duane Vemeulen and Eben Etzebeth led the South Africans on the field in the Rugby Championship, while Pollard’s flyhalf boots were filled by Manie Libbok and Damian Willemse.