Bok blow for Kolisi
Western Province flank Siya Kolisi's prospects of getting back into Springbok contention suffered a cruel blow.
Western Province flank Siya Kolisi's prospects of getting back into Springbok contention suffered a cruel blow at the weekend.
Province coach Allister Coetzee confirmed on Sunday that Kolisi had suffered a hand fracture in the 23-26 Currie Cup loss to the Golden Lions in Johannesburg at the weekend.
The WP star will require surgery to fix the fractured thumb of his left hand.
He will be out of action for the rest of the 2012 Currie Cup season.
While Kolisi's setback, the only fresh concern from the weekend, is "obviously a very big loss" for WP, it is an even bigger setback for the player.
Following South Africa's disappointing 16-all draw against Argentina at the weekend, and the poor display of the loose forwards, the abrasive Kolisi would have had a good chance of a recall to the Bok squad for the away leg of the Rugby Championship.
The Springboks, who return from Mendoza on Monday, face Australia in Perth on September 8 and New Zealand in Dunedin a week later.
Bok coach Heyneke Meyer admitted he will have to make some "hard decisions" before the Boks play Australia in a fortnight.
Meyer opted for ball-carrying loose forwards over specialist fetchers and it has not proved a success.
Kolisi, who was a member of the Boks' Rugby Championship wider training squad before being axed ahead of the trip to Mendoza, is not a pure openside flank.
However, he would have given Meyer an alternative option with very different skill sets to his current combination of Willem Alberts, Jacques Potgieter and Marcell Coetzee - with Keegan Daniel coming of the bench against the Pumas.
Kolisi's injury follows that of Pierre Spies, who also underwent surgery to his left hand and will be sidelined for at least another six weeks - meaning he also won't feature in the Rugby Championship this season.
* For WP there is some good news.
Prop Deon Carstens (broken nose) should be back in action after missing the Lions match.
Flank Rynhardt Elstadt (groin) will be re-assessed again on Monday after missing the Lions match.
No.8 Nick Koster (knee) will be re-assessed again on Monday as he continues his rehabilitation from his long-term injury which he picked up during the Vodacom Super Rugby season.
Flyhalf Gary van Aswegen (knee) is available for selection again after getting some game time for the Maties.
Fullback Joe Pietersen (wrist) will be re-assessed again on Monday after also missing the Lions match.
Province face the Blue Bulls at Newlands on Saturday, September 1, and Coetzee said they are determined to bounce back from the weekend's loss.
"It's frustrating to play so well and to lose again - similar, in many ways, to the Sharks match at the start of the season," Coetzee said.
"We went into an early lead but our discipline and individual errors cost us. We did well to come back and we could've won ... then we could've drawn and then we ended up losing, so, clearly, the luck is not on our side at the moment! But we will keep knocking and learn from our errors - we remain as determined as ever to bounce back from these setbacks.
"We're back at home this coming weekend [against the Bulls] and we have seven games left this season, so we have a chance to put things right and stay in touch for a semifinal place."