Cape Town - The Springboks and SA Rugby, while agreeing to follow protocol around an investigation into alleged assault against star lock Eben Etzebeth, are not preparing for the possibility of him having to return home from the Rugby World Cup in Japan. 

News broke on Wednesday that the South African Human Rights Commission would be taking legal action against Etzebeth, presenting documents to the Equality Court on Friday to begin the process.

SA Rugby, meanwhile, confirmed on Thursday that they would continue to cooperate with authorities on the matter but that they had not considered sending Etzebeth home. 

When contacted by Sport24 on Thursday, SA Rugby president Mark Alexander emphasised as much.

"They have not asked us to bring him back and he has not even been formally charged," Alexander said.

"It's all speculation.

"We said we would work with the authorities as far as we can and we are bound to work with them as good corporate citizens."

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi, meanwhile, said that the Etzebeth saga had not disrupted things in the Bok camp ahead of Friday's crucial clash against Italy. 

"To be honest, I don't know what's really happening," Kolisi was quoted as saying by AFP.

"I think SA Rugby issued a statement this morning... I know Eben is playing this week.

When asked whether Etzebeth's situation had been a distraction to the squad, Kolisi replied: "No, not from what I'm seeing. We've just been preparing for the game.

"Every game for us is now a playoff game because if we slip up we're out of the competition."

Kick-off on Friday is at 11:45 (SA time).