Springboks ready to take Kolisi and Pollard to the World Cup without warm up match action

Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber is ready to take the key injured pair of captain Siya Kolisi and outside half Handre Pollard to the Rugby World Cup in France even if they are unable to play any part in the warm up matches.
Nienaber told local media the importance of his captain and the tactical control of Pollard makes them an exception in the build up to the Springboks defence of the Cup both men helped secure in Japan in 2019.The coach believes that both players have proved in the past they can handle test rugby from a standing start.
He explained: “Hopefully, they’ll make their returns before the World Cup commences, but if there’s a possibility that they might only be available near the end of the tournament, we’ll need to have a discussion again.
“The thing with Siya and Handre is that they’ve repeatedly shown us what they’re capable of at international level and that’s a fact that counts in their favour when it comes to selection.
“What I’m trying to say here is that you’d probably take those two men to France without them actually having seen any competitive action in the build-up.
“Their respective pedigrees are as such that they’ve proved themselves capable of slotting in immediately.
“What also gives us comfort is the precedent that Siya was in the exact same position in 2019, where he didn’t play until the final warm-up game against Japan.He was then excellent in the World Cup. Handre was the same in the British & Irish Lions series (in 2021) and played an instrumental role in helping us win it. They can start performing immediately.
” I know that I said that they’d be ready for the warm-up against Wales, but that was based on the initial assumption that they were not going to feature in the Rugby Championship.
“We’re hopeful of that time frame. With rehab, you start a process, but it doesn’t always go according to plan. There might be excessive swelling out of nowhere or a sudden loss of range of movement.
“Whatever reason, if something like that happens, you go a step back in the process. If everything goes well, hopefully, they’ll make the warm-up games.
“I reiterate, hopefully. But you can’t predict and manage these things. The one guarantee I can give is that we won’t rush them or force them to play if they’re not medically cleared.
“Confidence is also hugely important too, it’s something they’ll need to get out of training sessions. It will be what it will be.”

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