If South Africa’s captain Siya Kolisi is unable to play due to a knee injury, the team’s chances of successfully defending their Rugby World Cup championship are diminished. On Saturday, the 31-year-old was injured while playing for the Durban Sharks against the Munster of Ireland.
While doctors have yet to give the captain a definitive diagnosis, it has been reported that if he has surgery, his recovery could take up to nine months, keeping him out of action for the duration of the tournament. Even if he decides against surgery and instead undergoes rehabilitation, he still won’t be able to play again until just weeks before the tournament begins.
In 2019, Kolisi became the first black captain of the South African national side after playing a crucial role in helping the Springboks to victory at the Rugby World Cup in Japan. If he is unable to compete in the upcoming tournament in France, the squad will be without a leader with his level of expertise and insight.
It is likely that this will be Kolisi’s last World Cup with the Springboks before he moves to French club Racing 92. The athlete has been dedicated to South African rugby for a long time, so losing the chance to defend the title might be a huge letdown for him.
The news of Kolisi’s injury is sure to cause alarm among supporters of the Springboks as well as the coaching staff of the side. This is because they will need to find replacements for the captaincy as well as the position of loose forwards. Even though the team’s forwards have a wealth of quality and experience in the form of players like Pieter-Steph du Toit, Kwagga Smith, and Francois Louw, it will be difficult to replace Kolisi’s leadership and physical presence on the pitch. This is the case despite the fact that Kwagga Smith, Pieter-Steph du Toit, and Francois Louw.
The Springboks will be hoping to get off to a solid start when they face Scotland in the opening game of the tournament on September 10. This will be the beginning of their quest to become the first team to retain the trophy since New Zealand in 2015. Their preparations for the tournament are significantly hampered by the death of their charismatic commander, Kolisi. Without him, they will have to adjust both their game plan and the players they choose to play on the team.
It is yet unknown how the Springboks will respond to this setback; however, you can be sure that they will be praying that Kolisi’s injury is not as bad as was initially thought and that he will be able to lead the team in its defence of their championship.
Fans are keeping their fingers crossed in the hopes that the inspirational leader of their team will be able to return to the field soon and continue to lead them with his signature tenacity, passion, and skill. They have no other option except to wait it out and keep their fingers crossed till then.