File: South Africa's captain Siya Kolisi.
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa skipper and loose forward Siya Kolisi could miss the entire 2019 Rugby Championship due to a knee injury, coach Rassie Erasmus said.
Kolisi, who last year became the first black player to captain the Springboks, has been ruled out of matches against Australia in Johannesburg on July 20 and New Zealand in Wellington a week later.
He is also doubtful for the final match in Argentina on August 10 of a championship reduced from two rounds to one because of the World Cup, which kicks off in Japan late September.
"I think if we push him now... we might end up with more than a 50 percent chance that he will not go with us to the World Cup," said Erasmus.
Possible temporary replacements as skipper include fly-half Handre Pollard and forward Malcolm Marx, Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Duane Vermeulen.
Twice World Cup winners South Africa are in Pool B in Japan with defending champions New Zealand, Canada, Italy and Namibia and the top two finishers qualify for the quarter-finals.