CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — South Africa captain Siya Kolisi will make his first test appearance of the year in the Rugby World Cup warmup match against Wales on Saturday.
The flanker had surgery on a serious knee injury in late April and hasn’t played since at any level, which raised doubts about his availability for the World Cup when the Springboks will be defending their title.
Kolisi is back just in time to play in the tournament in France and the match in Cardiff is a good opportunity to regain sharpness before the Springboks’ opening World Cup pool game against Scotland on Sept. 10.
Prop Ox Nche also returns after a lengthy spell out with a pectoral muscle injury.
“They have two matches to build up their match fitness before the World Cup,” Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber said of Kolisi and Nche, “and although it will be important to manage their load in the match, it’s vital that they return to the field as they are key players in our set-up.”
South Africa’s final World Cup warmup match is against New Zealand at Twickenham on Aug. 25.
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