Lood back, Kolbe doubtful for 100th All Blacks Test

The Springboks have been boosted for Saturday’s 100th Test match against the All Blacks by the availability of lock Lood de Jager, but  Cheslin Kolbe remains a doubt despite returning to training.

The Boks were without Kolbe for both losses against the Wallabies after the wing took a knock to his leg during a training session, while De Jager missed the second Test against Australia due to concussion protocols.

As they prepare to face the mammoth task of bouncing back against an in-form New Zealand in Townsville on Saturday, forwards coach Deon Davids confirmed the Springboks had been boosted by De Jager’s return to training.

“All the players were able to train. Lood de Jager, who had a concussion injury, is back in training. So our players are fit and were on the field training. Only Cheslin is in his return-to-training stage, so he is busy getting ready.

“All of the broader squad is available for selection this weekend.

“Cheslin Kolbe is still doubtful,” Davids added. “He is doing a few exercises, but he is still doubtful for this weekend.”

Despite the hype going into the Test match, Davids said that the Springboks will be trying to take the emotion out of it as they look to fix what went wrong against Australia.

“We understand and respect the rivalry between South Africa and New Zealand. But we have also learned from the past. For us, the only focus is to focus on our next performance. That is important for us.

“It’s important that you always look objectively at your performance in the previous week. You have to take emotion out of it and look objectively at the plan and how the plan was executed.

“So, for us, we didn’t perform up to standard. But now it’s a new opportunity to play against a quality side like New Zealand over the next two weeks. All the players are looking forward to that. Going into these games, we can’t dwell on things that are in the past.

“The important thing for us is to focus on where we need to improve. Everyone is really excited to get going and to see that we prepare effectively to put up a better performance this weekend.”

Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images


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Dylan Jack