RWC Anthem Controversy Springboks

The Springboks singing along to the national anthem. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BBP.

World Cup news: Two big-name stars back for Springboks!

The Springboks have received a timely boost ahead of this weekend’s blockbuster World Cup pool game against Ireland.

RWC Anthem Controversy Springboks

The Springboks singing along to the national anthem. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BBP.

The Springboks have started the World Cup with wins over Scotland and Romania, but it’s this Saturday’s clash against Ireland that is set to determine which team finishes top of their group.

In terms of personnel, Malcolm Marx has already returned home due to a serious knee injury, while there is a cloud of doubt over Vincent Koch after he went down during the warm-ups on Sunday.

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However, in more positive news, Eben Etzebeth is said to have made a faster than expected recovery from injury, and he has already managed to complete two full training sessions in Bordeaux, where the Springboks prepared to face Romania.

“He will be able to play again in about four or five days,” Mzwandile Stick said during a press conference on Saturday. “He surprised us. He trained hard in the gym yesterday.”

It means Etzebeth will almost certainly be available to face Ireland, with Franco Mostert likely to partner him in the second row.

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Etzebeth recovers as Pollard returns

Meanwhile, Pollard will join the national team in Paris on Monday after being called into the squad to fill the vacancy created by Marx.

However, it’s worth keeping in mind that the veteran flyhalf will almost certainly not be considered for selection just yet as there will be a need to integrate him back into the squad for at least this week.

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He should be in contention for the final pool game against Tonga, which will make for an interesting selection decision when opting to pick him or Manie Libbok at 10.

“We’ll work closely with him in the next week to get him back up to speed and back into the full swing of things, and we have no doubt he’ll step up to the challenge,” coach Jacques Nienaber commented. “He’s been here before so he knows the physical and mental demands of the World Cup.”

The Springboks will make the journey from Bordeaux to Paris on Monday where they will begin their preparations for Saturday’s round-three RWC clash against Ireland.

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