Rugby Championship

Etzebeth set to start for Boks in Durban

2018-08-13 16:05
Eben Etzebeth (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Eben Etzebeth is set to start for the Springboks in Saturday's Rugby Championship clash against Argentina in Durban.

That was the news coming out of the Springbok camp in Durban on Monday, where coach Rassie Erasmus hinted strongly that the 26-year-old would wear the No 4 jersey at Kings Park. 

It will be Etzebeth's first taste of competitive rugby since December 2, 2017 when the Boks went down to Wales in what would prove to be Allister Coetzee's final match in charge of the national side. 

Since then, Etzebeth has had a nightmarish shoulder injury that saw him miss the entire 2018 Super Rugby season. 

Erasmus had said in Cape Town last week that Etzebeth was one medical clearance away from being declared fit, and on Monday morning he delivered the good news. 

"We just received the clearance from the specialist," Erasmus said.

"He’s been training full on with us ever since the end of the Stormers’ Super Rugby campaign, but we’ve been waiting on this clearance."

While RG Snyman and Franco Mostert combined impressively in the second row against England in June, Erasmus explained why he would rather have Etzebeth starting than coming off the bench.

"His match fitness is a concern," the coach said.

"It’s for that reason that we won’t see him playing much more than 60 minutes this week.

"I’d prefer to start a player who is in this situation than play him from the bench. If we start someone else and then there is an injury in the first minute, we might be in trouble."

Saturday's clash kicks off at 17:05.


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