Springbok blow as Kolisi gets injured
SPRINGBOK coach Heyneke Meyer arrived back from Argentina to learn that the only genuine openside flank available to him had been ruled out of rugby for the rest of the season.
Western Province flank Siya Kolisi broke a thumb against the Golden Lions on Saturday and will undergo surgery.
Meyer's admission that the Boks had battled at the breakdown in their opening two tests of the Four Nations against Argentina, there was a strong possibility he was going to include Kolisi for the Australasian leg of the tournament.
After a 27-6 win at Newlands and a 16-16 draw in Mendoza against the Pumas, the Boks need to address some shortcomings and the breakdown is one of those areas of concern.
Meyer refused to panic after the second draw in his first five tests in charge and said he wouldn't make changes for the sake of it.
"People underestimate Argentina, but their whole starting line-up plays in Europe and they are very experienced," Meyer said.
"It's easy to say throw people out and pick new ones, but that's not coaching, that's picking. I've been in this position a few times as a coach and the easiest thing is just to cut players, but that won't move you forward. The only way the side will improve is by coaching them, improving their technique and mental strength.
"We've already lost a lot of leadership and you'd be throwing out what experience you've got."
Kolisi's injury and hooker Tiaan Liebenberg's recent call-up to the Bok squad have also created problems for WP coach Allister Coetzee, who is still without injured loose forwards Nizaam Carr, Nick Koster, Schalk Burger, Rynhardt Elstadt, and now Kolisi.
Hooker Deon Fourie had been deputising at flank, but with Liebenberg's elevation to the Boks Fourie is needed in the front row - further thinning the WP back-row options.