Springboks captain Kolisi returns as World Cup looms

South Africa's flanker and captain Siya Kolisi defends a ruck during the first rugby union test match between South Africa and England at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg, on June 9, 2018. 

South Africa's flanker and captain Siya Kolisi defends a ruck during the first rugby union test match between South Africa and England at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg, on June 9, 2018. 

AFP

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa skipper Siya Kolisi will on Friday play his first match since being injured in May as he intensifies a bid to be fit for the World Cup in Japan.

The 28-year-old flanker has been selected by Western Province for a Currie Cup game against the Pumas in Cape Town. 

READ: Habana hopeful of inspirational SA victory under Kolisi 

If Kolisi comes through unscathed, Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus could consider him for a one-off Test against Argentina in Pretoria on August 17.

South Africa also play Japan in the host country before launching their World Cup campaign against defending champions and greatest rivals New Zealand on September 21.

Kolisi injured a knee playing for the Western Stormers -- a sister side of Western Province -- in the latter stages of the Super Rugby regular season.

Last year, he became the first black Test captain of a national team reserved for whites during most of the apartheid era.

READ: Springbok skipper Kolisi may miss Rugby Championship

He, fellow flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit and number eight Duane Vermeulen are expected to be the first choice back row at the World Cup. 

The Springboks are in Pool B with New Zealand, Italy, Canada and Namibia and the section winners and runners-up qualify for the quarter-finals.

Source
AFP