Springbok captain Siya Kolisi said on Thursday he had no worries about South Africa’s chances in next month’s Tests even though they are missing three first-choice players.
Loose forward Pieter-Steph Du Toit, scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and winger Cheslin Kolbe will miss the games against Wales on 6 November, Scotland seven days later and the rerun of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final with England on 20 November. All three are injured.
“Those are amazing players but squad depth has been one of our biggest things as a team,” Kolisi said. “People have had a chance to play and work really hard, everyone in the group has played a game, we all train the same, we work together.
“If someone’s not playing, there’s no difference,” the 30-year-old added.
Scrumhalf Cobus Reinach scored twice for club Montpellier in Saturday’s win at Racing 92 to put his hand up to replace De Klerk with the Stormers’ Herschel Jantjies and the Sharks’ Grant Williams also in head coach Jacques Nienaber’s squad.
“I’m happy I’m not in the coaches’ position. We love it as a team when the guys perform,” Kolisi said. “The most important thing is the team, the Springboks, not the number on your back. I love that kind of competition and when the coaches have a headache.”
The Springboks have been in France this week to avoid a Covid-19 quarantine when they arrive in Britain over the weekend.
Meanwhile, 2023 Rugby World Cup chief Claude Atcher has confirmed South Africa will play France, the tournament host, next year in Paris.
“The Springboks will come back to France, to face Les Bleus on November 12, 2022 at the Stade de France,” Atcher told AFP.
© Agence France-Presse