The parallels in World Rugby are a timely reminder that all the teams in search of Rugby World Cup glory have had to traverse hurdles placed in front of them.
South Africa’s inspirational captain, Siya Kolisi, recovered from a serious knee injury to lead his team into the 2023 tournament.
And in a similar situation, hosts France will have their captain, Anthony Jelonch back from a serious knee injury for their second pool game against Uruguay on Thursday.
The focus on Siya Kolisi in this World Cup is all encompassing, as the story of the Springbok captain who went from Zwide in the Eastern Cape to World Cup glory in 2019 continues to resonate around the world.
Kolisi says he is happy to deflect attention from the Boks as they look to defend their World Cup title and aim for an unprecedented fourth victory.
He also took the opportunity to explain to the assembled media in France the philosophy of Ubuntu.
“You as a person you need to be a human being before anything else and that’s how I live and try to carry myself when you come from a nation where you think of, we before, I think that makes it easy for me to just to keep grounded.”
Meanwhile, France welcome back Jelonch from injury ahead of the host nation’s second group A match against Uruguay in Lille on Thursday.
Jelonch sustained a serious knee injury in the Six Nations tournament in February and is relieved to have made a full recovery.
“Today to return to this world cup match as captain makes me very proud. And I’ll do everything to bring my teammates to victory.”
France beat the All Blacks 27-13 in the opening match of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in Paris on Friday.
Coach Fabien Galthie says that match dominated the focus of his team for three years, and now they must shift focus to Uruguay.
“They are a South American team with combat values, with a big heart like all South American teams. But Uruguay is a world of its own. They have very strong fighting values, pride. So, we expect a team that has a lot of energy and a lot of aggressiveness.”
After Uruguay, France will prepare for Namibia and then Italy in October.
Original Story by www.sabcnews.com