Durban - Siya Kolisi doesn’t have a lot of time to prove his worth to Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer ahead of the Rugby World Cup, and this Saturday has become a whole lot more important for him.
The versatile flank played the last of his 10 Tests against France in 2013 before a double knee injury saw his international career screech to a halt.
And while Kolisi’s involvement on Saturday will see him come off the bench for his 11th Test cap, he is ready to take advantage of any game time he is given.
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity since 2013 and I’ve been working really hard. Since I’ve been back in the camp again the coach has said I would get an opportunity and I will take it with both hands,” he said.
“It’s an opportunity. I’ve got to take it regardless. It doesn’t matter how many minutes I get, I just have to do the best I can in that amount of time. There are a lot of guys that could be in the squad that are not here... I’ve got to use what I can get.”
Kolisi will provide cover at 6, 7 and 8 on Saturday and he hopes that his flexibility makes him a more attractive option for Meyer moving towards the World Cup.
“I’m going to try and run the ball up... carry, fetch and protect the ball. I want to show all the stuff I can do, not only one part of my game,” he said.
“It’s pretty important (to be flexible). We can all play each position and obviously we’ve got a couple of specialists at openside flanker. It gives you maybe a better chance to make it.”
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Jesse Kriel, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Lwazi Mvovo
15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Jerónimo De la Fuente, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Juan Martín Hernández, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Marcos Ayerza
Substitutes: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Lucas Noguera, 18 Matías Díaz, 19 Matías Alemanno, 20 Tomás Lezana, 21 Martín Landajo, 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino