• Bok captain in the dark over Rugby Champs

    Springbok and Stormers captain Siya Kolisi says he does not know whether the team will be participating in this year’s Rugby Championship in Australia. DYLAN JACK reports.

    The Springboks are due to defend their title in Australia between 7 November and 12 December, however talk coming out of New Zealand and the host country is that SA Rugby has decided to opt out of this year’s tournament.

    REPORT: Boks set to opt out of Rugby Champs

    Earlier this week, Sanzaar gave SA Rugby a 48-hour deadline to confirm whether they would be sending a team to Australia, with an announcement expected on Friday.

    Speaking during an online Stormers media conference on Thursday, Kolisi said he had not heard anything from the Springbok coaches or SA Rugby over whether a decision has yet been made.

    ‘I have no idea,’ Kolisi said. ‘We haven’t spoken much about it. We will just have to wait for the official statement.

    ‘For now, all that’s important for us is to try and get as many minutes as we can and make sure that we actually play ourselves into the team.

    ‘[The confirmation] might come today or tomorrow, but it is not going to change anything for us going into this weekend. That’s the most important thing.’

    In terms of game time, there are a host of Springboks who are nowhere near the 400-plus minutes of play that the medical experts suggest is the ideal mark to mitigate injuries, and player welfare was always expected to be at the heart of any decision.

    ALSO READ: Springboks given 48-hour Rugby Champs deadline

    Stormers coach John Dobson said despite trying to get more clarity on the situation, he also has no idea whether the Springboks will be playing this year or not.

    ‘I haven’t heard anything,’ Dobson said. ‘I did try to find out informally from some of the guys that I know at Saru. I am sure Siya’s kids would also like to know if he is going to be here for the next six weeks.

    ‘I have literally heard nothing. There was a rumour floating around this morning that Springbok bags were packed. But that could just be a contingency. I really haven’t heard anything.’

    Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

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    Dylan Jack