Cheslin Kolbe not cleared yet as Springboks provide an update on star winger

Jared Wright
Cheslin Kolbe during the Rugby World Cup 2023 final between New Zealand and South Africa in Saint-Denis, France

Cheslin Kolbe during the Rugby World Cup 2023 final between New Zealand and South Africa.

The Springboks have provided an update on winger Cheslin Kolbe, who left the training squad earlier this week.

30-year-old Kolbe is set to miss South Africa’s first Test match of the year against Wales at Twickenham Stadium on June 22, with his involvement in the incoming series against Ireland in doubt.

Cheslin Kolbe’s fitness

On Monday, Bulls loose forward Celimpilo Guemede was called into the Bok squad as an injury replacement for Kolbe who underwent medical examination for “a knee niggle”.

The double World Cup winner sustained the injury in Japan and the latest update from the Springboks is a somewhat hopeful one as he has not been ruled out of the upcoming internationals against Ireland.

“Springbok wing Cheslin Kolbe has rejoined his teammates in Pretoria and will do his rehabilitation under the supervision of the Bok medical staff with an eye on possibly being available for selection for the opening Test of the Castle Lager Incoming Tour against Ireland,” an SA Rugby statement confirmed on Thursday.

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The Boks also confirmed that the speedster had rejoined the squad on Wednesday and will now follow a rehabilitation programme.

Kolbe’s involvement in the two Tests against Ireland would be a huge boost to their back three stocks with World Cup winners Canan Moodie and Damian Willemse set to miss both encounters.

There is also doubt around the fitness of Kurt-Lee Arendse, who sustained a facial fracture in the Bulls’ URC quarter-final against Benetton which will see him miss the semi-final and potential final at least.

After missing the 2023 World Cup through illness, Lood de Jager has suffered another setback after he sustained an injury in the Japan Rugby League One final and is joined on the sidelines by fellow forwards Steven Kitshoff and Jean Kleyn.

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Springboks’ schedule

Rassie Erasmus is set to name his first Springboks matchday squad of 2024 on Tuesday, June 18 ahead of their clash against Wales in London.

Following on from the encounter, the world champions return to South Africa, where they will host Ireland in back-to-back Tests in Pretoria and Durban on July 6 and 13 before tackling Portugal in a one-off Test match in Bloemfontein on July 20.

South Africa kick off their Rugby Championship campaign with back-to-back Tests against the Wallabies in Australia before returning home to host the All Blacks in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

They conclude their Rugby Championship against Argentina, tackling Los Pumas once in South America and before returning to host them in Nelspruit.

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