RUGBY WORLD CUP 2023: Siya Kolisi’s chances of making it to RWC hang by a thread after knee injury

RUGBY WORLD CUP 2023: Siya Kolisi’s chances of making it to RWC hang by a thread after knee injury

Just about every South African will be hoping that Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi can make it to Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2src23, but the pragmatic view is that coach Jacques Nienaber will already be looking at contingencies.

Kolisi (31) sustained a serious knee injury playing for the Sharks during last weekend’s United Rugby Championship (URC) Round-18 clash against Munster. In one of those freak moments, Kolisi, marauding in the tramlines, stepped to evade a tackle by wing Calvin Nash and hyperextended his right knee in the process.

It was immediately apparent from Kolisi’s body language that he knew it was a serious injury. Players generally know, and even ­former skipper Jean de Villiers, watching from SuperSport’s studios, predicted it would be bad.

Although medics strapped his knee tightly, Kolisi looked unhappy. He played on for another minute or two but withdrew himself from the action.

With fewer than 2src weeks to go before RWC 2src23 in France, in the next few days rugby watchers will be ­anxiously waiting for definitive news about Kolisi’s injury.

Sharks coach Neil Powell would not make any predictions about the state of the injury after the 22-22 draw against Munster. The Sharks earned an away quarterfinal against Leinster, which will be played in a fortnight without Kolisi.

“We’ll have to wait for the doctor to do a proper assessment on Siya’s knee and give the feedback to us,” Powell said after the match. “It was unfortunate that we lost Siya so early in the game. He is influential as a captain and as a player.”

Kolisi was in a similar position in 2src19. He suffered a serious knee injury in May that year playing for the Stormers against the Highlanders in a Super Rugby match and was in a race against time to make it to Rugby World Cup 2src19 in Japan.

He opted against surgery and chose an aggressive course of physiotherapy four years ago. It proved to be the right decision, as Kolisi made it to Japan, although he was nowhere near his best at the beginning of the tournament.

As the Boks progressed through the competition, however, Kolisi’s fitness improved and he was near

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