The Springboks are hopeful that livewire winger Cheslin Kolbe will be fit and available for the Rugby World Cup semi-final against Wales at Yokohama Stadium on Sunday.
The speedster has been battling an ankle injury since South Africa’s third pool game against Italy two weeks ago and seemed to further strain the injury against Japan.
He has subsequently been unable to train subsequently. Speaking to the media on Wednesday, assistant Springbok coach Mzwandile Stick said that Kolbe should bounce back ahead of the semi-final against Wales
‘We’ve been managing him and giving him the best possible chance to recover,’ Stick said.
“Yesterday, he missed our full training session. We are trying to manage him and give him the best opportunity to recover. Hopefully he will be ready for the game.
“But at the moment, everybody is still there for selection for Sunday.”
In form winger, Sbu Nkosi is likely to replace Kolbe in the starting XV if the pocket rocket is unable to recover with Warrick Gelant also an option for Rassie Erasmus.
Stick also took the opportunity to praise try scoring winger Makazole Mapimpi who has scored 13 tries in 12 tests:
“If you look at Makazole’s past two to three years in Super Rugby and PRO14, he has always been one of the best finishers in the game.
“When he played for the Southern Kings, he managed to score tries in a losing side. When he went to the Cheetahs, he did the same thing, and at the Sharks, he is one of their best finishers.
“Against the All Blacks, the opposition also analyse how we play the game, and our individuals, and understand what to do to stop the opposition from scoring points.
“We were guilty in that New Zealand game for not really converting the possession we had into points. Using the ball in the wider channels was also something we didn’t do in that game.
“That was a big work-on for us going forward in the World Cup, and in a couple of games where we did have opportunities – and the contestable kicking game creates opportunities – you might get Makazole running against a forward, or a 20-metre space to run into.
“Hopefully this week, they will get some opportunities.”