Springbok captain Siya Kolisi says the Eben Etzebeth issue hasn’t affected their preparations for Friday’s crucial rugby World Cup clash against Italy. Etzebeth is in the starting fifteen for the match, even though the Human Rights Commission has announced it will institute legal proceedings against him for racial and physical abuse.
Etzebeth has denied the charges, arising from an incident in Langebaan just before their departure for Japan. Friday’s match is key for both teams, it would keep South Africa in the tournament, and for the Italians it would put them in the quarters for the first time. Kolisi says they’re ready for the challenge.
“Italy is a great side. They’ve beaten us in the past, and I think we in a way we’re fortunate that we get to play knockouts earlier than normal. So, that’s what we see this game as. Obviously they also prepared for this game as well. It’s one of those games that you want to be playing in as a player. So as a team we’ve just prepared as best as we could, you know. We’ve trained well this week. We’re really confident on our plan,” says Kolisi.