Springbok loose forward Marcell Coetzee says the biggest challenge he faces after missing out on World Cup selection due to injury is accepting his reality.
Coetzee suffered a double injury blow during South Africa’s warm-up Test against Argentina at Loftus on Saturday when he first injured his ankle before taking a knock to the head.
It has since been confirmed that Coetzee will need to undergo corrective ankle surgery, which will subsequently rule him out of action for 12 weeks and thus also out of contention for World Cup selection.
Speaking to Netwerk24, a disappointed Coetzee admitted that he felt he was close to making the final 31-man squad and that makes dealing with the injury so much harder.
‘The biggest challenge is to accept the reality that it is what it is and to find the courage to climb back on the horse,’ he explained.
‘It would be disappointing for anyone but it is one of those things in life that you have no control over. Like everything else, time will heal the wounds.’
Coetzee has had his share of injuries in the past. In 2015, a knee injury scuppered his chances of making the Boks’ World Cup squad and later a series of recurring knee knocks threatened to prematurely end his career.
But Coetzee worked his way back from all those setbacks and made a stunning return to Ulster’s first team this past season, enough so to earn him a Springbok recall.
‘The past has taught me that something good always comes from a bad situation. That is why I have to get my attitude right. There’s still a lot I want to achieve.’
Photo: Willem Loock/BackpagePix