Siya Kolisi: South Africa’s newest springbok captain to test positive for coronavirus ahead of Lions series | Rugby Union News
Kolisi, Dan Du Preez, Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi, Scarra Ntubeni and Makazole Mapimpi are the latest cases that are confirmed together with three members of the team management; The Lions’ next opponent will be ‘A’ in Cape Town South Africa on Wednesday
Last updated: 07/11/21 11:00 AM
South Africa’s captain Siya Kolisi is one of six new coronavirus cases ahead of the Springboks series against the British and Irish Lions
South Africa captain Siya Kolisi is among the six players who tested positive for coronavirus as the Springboks are more disrupted as they prepare for their series against the British and Irish Lions.
Kolisi, Dan Du Preez, Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi, Scarra Ntubeni and Makazole Mapimpi are the latest cases that are confirmed alongside three members of the team management.
This increases the number of employees and players infected with Covid to over 20.
However, a significant part of the 46-strong squad can resume training after six days of isolation and six rounds of PCR tests on Sunday.
A statement from SA Rugby said that “with the entire cadre and management team locked in their rooms since Monday, the possibility of transmission through close contact has been mitigated”.
Head coach Jacques Nienaber has yet to self-isolate, so Rassie Erasmus, South Africa’s rugby director and 2019 World Cup winner, will conduct the training.
“We are very excited to return to the field and resume our Lions series preparations,” said Nienaber.
“It’s been a challenging week with the test against Georgia canceled on Friday night and the entire squad self-isolating for a few days as a preventive measure so the players can’t wait to get back to the park.
“The Georgia Test was important for us to prepare for the Lions, but these are exceptional times and we have to adapt as a team. I have to praise the players and the management for that.”
“We are a committed team of trainers and everyone takes responsibility in their respective roles. It’s also great that Rassie controls the ship while I’m away.
“He has been part of the system for several years and led most of these players to the 2019 World Cup. So the team is in good hands.”
The front rows Fez Mbatha and Lizo Gqoboka have been added to the Springboks roster to help prepare after the recent positive results.
The Lions’ next opponent is South Africa A on Wednesday in Cape Town and the resumption of training, albeit with a number of players still missing, increases the likelihood that the game will go as planned.
A change to the running order for next week is being considered as the Stormers occupy the Wednesday slot and South Africa’s second string moves to the weekend, providing additional time to recover from the coronavirus outbreak.
The Lions leave for Cape Town on Sunday, but attacking coach Gregor Townsend, three other staff members and an unnamed player will have to isolate themselves in Johannesburg until Wednesday if they will rejoin the main tour.
A report in South Africa said Stormers players trained themselves to compete against the Lions after the franchise’s management team was forced into isolation over Covid.