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Kolbe concern as Boks boss Nienaber turns focus to Rugby Champs

Kolbe concern as Boks boss Nienaber turns focus to Rugby Champs

After an impressive performance in the third Test decider against Wales over the past weekend, the Springboks still have plenty to build on ahead of the Rugby Championship which gets under way in just under three weeks.

The Boks powered to a 30-14 win against the Welsh, which should have been an even bigger win if they’d taken their chances, with their focus now shifting to the All Blacks who they will face in the opening two Tests in Mbombela and Johannesburg early next month.

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“I think there is a lot to build on still. This isn’t the polished performance yet. I thought the set pieces functioned well, but there were still a few hiccups there. At scrum time we are still getting used to the brake foot thing and we will get better at that,” explained Bok coach Jacques Nienaber.

“So we still have to build a lot from where we are. If you look at the results (around the world) currently it’s brilliant for spectators because there is a lot of competition between the top 10 nations in the world.”

Injury worries

The Boks have a couple of injury worries ahead of the Rugby Champs, with wing Cheslin Kolbe suffering a suspected fractured jaw in the past match against Wales which could keep him out for a while, and Andre Esterhuizen in a race against time after breaking his hand in the second Welsh Test.

A recall for Cobus Reinach and Duane Vermeulen is on the cards should they pass their respective club exit medicals, according to Nienaber, while other injuries will be assessed over this week.

“We will reassess all the injuries in the next couple of days and then as a selection group we will probably sit within the next week and have a discussion of our plans going forward into the Rugby Championship,” said Nienaber.

“There are guys like Cobus and Duane who have to pass exit medicals. There are also guys who are busy with rehab.

“We didn’t want to touch on that before this game. The biggest thing for us was just to focus on Wales. But we will now look at it over this week.”

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