Etzebeth in doubt for opener

Eben Etzebeth is in a race against time to be fit for the Springboks’ World Cup opener against Japan on Saturday.

The big lock is the one player who remains an injury concern after suffering a calf strain during the Boks’ World Cup training camp.

Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts told the media at the team's base in Eastbourne that Etzebeth would continue to be monitored closely.

‘He started running last week and we will progress him this week. A decision on his availability will be made later in the week. Otherwise it is up to the coach to select the players he wants for the first game.’

Roberts said the rest of the squad were looking in good shape. The Springboks attended a vibrant and rousing official welcoming ceremony at the iconic Winter Gardens in Eastbourne on Sunday afternoon.

‘Yet again we are completely humbled by the amazing support we’ve received,’ Meyer commented. ‘We’ve been in England for a little over 24 hours now and it’s been nothing but amazing.’

The Boks will have their first training session on English soil on Monday at Eastbourne College, with the team to face Japan — set to be named on Wednesday — at the Brighton Community Stadium.

Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

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