Siya Kolisi racing against time to be available for first Test against Lions

Siya Kolisi was tested positive for coronavirus on 11th July
Siya Kolisi was tested positive for coronavirus on 11th July

South Africa captain Siya Kolisi is a doubtful starter for the first Test against British and Irish Lions to be played on Saturday at Cape Town Stadium as he continues to recover from Covid-19.

Kolisi was tested positive for coronavirus on 11th July and is continuing to be in quarantine along with Bongi Mbonambi and Makazole Mapimpi forcing them to miss South Africa's games against British and Irish Lions and Bulls.

Apart from the trio, Handre Pollard, Frans Malherbe, Frans Steyn and Ox Nche will be assessed medically while Willie le Roux is recovering from a hamstring injury.

“It will depend on physical readiness and if he gets through his Covid protocols. He’s got a race to get out of his quarantine and get a return to play (clearance), and then we must make an informed decision on that," said head coach Jacques Nienaber.

“There are some players who have been in our squad for 18 to 26 Test matches and obviously they have a good understanding of what we’re trying to do and how our system works. That will probably count for them.”

With their second Test against Georgia cancelled due to Covid outbreak, Nienaber named a strong South Africa A side that defeated Lions last week 17-13 but had shuffled the matchday squad for the encounter against Bulls on Saturday with the fringe players failing to impress as they lost the game 14-17.

Nevertheless, Bulls head coach Jake White played down the result and is expecting South Africa to have a successful series against the Lions.

“I know you guys want me to say there’s a crisis and that there should be some headline news about this, but the Boks needed a hit out and had to give some guys game-time.

"There’s no way that this result will be an indication of what will happen next week when the Test series starts."