Mon, 18 Jan 2021

Cape Town - A number of Springbok players are in a race against time to prove their fitness to coach Rassie Erasmus ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

The Springboks tackle Argentina in Pretoria on Saturday in what will be their last Test before Erasmus names his World Cup squad on August 26.

Captain Siya Kolisi has recovered from a knee injury and looks set to be given game time against the Pumas at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

But there is doubt whether the likes of utility back Damian Willemse, wing Aphiwe Dyantyi and No 8 Warren Whiteley will have enough time to prove their fitness.

"Some guys are in a race against time. Damian Willemse can get a few minutes for (Western) Province this weekend. It looks like Aphiwe can only play next weekend. Coenie (Oosthuizen) and Wilco (Louw) have been playing, but our props have been doing really well," Erasmus told reporters in Johannesburg on Monday.

Whiteley has struggled wit a knee injury and Erasmus admitted that things were not looking good for the Lions No 8.

"Warren will struggle to make the World Cup because of his injuries, he has got setback after setback. He is in a race against time.

"Unfortunately, even if you are a very good player but you are injured and have no game time. If you take a player who has been out for six weeks to the World Cup, you can't throw him into the first game against New Zealand if he has not played for eight or nine weeks."

Erasmus will name his team to face Argentina on Wednesday.

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