Springbok captain Siya Kolisi. Picture: REUTERS
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi. Picture: REUTERS

Cape Town — Concern over Springbok captain Siya Kolisi’s knee injury increased on Monday when Bulls flank Marco van Staden was called up to the Bok training camp in Pretoria as cover.

Van Staden‚ 23‚ had a strong Super Rugby campaign, but with the return of Marcell Coetzee and the addition of the uncapped Rynhardt Elstadt‚ it seemed his chance to add to his two caps earned in 2018 was gone for this year.

Kolisi sustained the knee injury playing against the Crusaders in the latter part of Super Rugby. He chose the conservative route of avoiding surgery and gradually rehabilitating the injury.

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The Bok skipper believes he will easily make it in time to be fit for the World Cup‚ which starts on September 19‚ but his chances of playing in the Rugby Championship appear to have diminished dramatically.

Van Staden will remain in camp until there is absolute clarity about whether Kolisi will be able to take part in the initial stages of the Rugby Championship.

The Springboks kick off their shortened Rugby Championship campaign on July 20 against the Wallabies in Johannesburg‚ which will be followed a week later by the keenly awaited rematch with New Zealand in Wellington — the scene of 2018’s epic away win against the All Blacks.

The Boks will conclude their official campaign against Argentina two weeks later‚ on August 10‚ in Salta‚ while the same two teams are set to meet again a week later in Pretoria in a one-off Test before the Boks report for Rugby World Cup training duty.