Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth will make his return to rugby this weekend and is set to start in South Africa’s first Rugby championship match against Argentina in Durban on Saturday.
Etzebeth’s last game was against Wales in December 2017 before a shoulder injury side-lined him for the whole of this season’s Super Rugby competition.
SA Rugby’s director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, indicated last week that the Stormers lock might return if he’s 100% fit.
Erasmus says he’s now confident that Etzebeth has completely recovered and he now needs game time. And he will start rather than be on the bench.
Rassie Erasmus says:”He’s been really functional for a while and he’s been with us for three weeks since the Stormers fell out and he’s been training full on, fit powerful obviously match fitness will be a challenge but the way we will select the team there will be cover for him.”
Erasmus says a plan to start Elton Jantjies at flyhalf and Handre Pollard at centre will not be tested this weekend.
Pollard will be the flyhalf and Sharks centres Andre Esterhuizen and Lukhanyo Am will be in the starting line-up.
“Elton has the most minutes of any player in super rugby so we want to manage him and the best time to give him a breather is in the first two games.”
The 23-man match-day squad will be announced on Thursday.