France flanker Anthony Jelonch continues rapid recovery from surgery

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France flanker Anthony Jelonch continues rapid recovery from surgery

Anthony Jelonch scores a try for France
Anthony Jelonch scores a try for FranceReuters
France flanker Anthony Jelonch (27) will likely continue his remarkable recovery from injury in Sunday’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final against South Africa and may find time to swap notes with Siya Kolisi (32).

The world champions' captain also won a tight race against time to be fit for the tournament after injury.

"I'll be happy to play against him on Sunday. He came back even faster than me, about three and a half months while I was out for six," Jelonch said on Wednesday after rupturing knee ligaments in February.

He made his comeback in France's 27-12 win over Uruguay on September 14th, handed the captaincy for a poignant return, and has played three games in the tournament.

"I’ve felt fine since the game against Uruguay and I’m really looking forward to playing at the weekend. I think I’ve worked very hard over the last six months to prepare myself for this situation,” he told a press conference.

Jelonch had initially been given little chance of making the tournament, the same as Kolisi, who suffered a partial anterior cruciate ligament tear in April.

He was given every chance by France whose medical team worked on his rehabilitation and then brought him into the squad preparations long before it was clear he would play in the World Cup.

"Each time I successfully completed the steps. I gave myself the means to be able to play this World Cup. This goal also helped me a lot to come back quickly and strong. This injury did me a lot of good and made me grow," Jelonch added.

Kolisi’s recovery has been described as miraculous.

"After my injury and surgery, I struggled with doubts, had many questions, and my peace was unsettled," said the South Africa captain who kept surprising the Springbok staff with his progress.

"Whenever there is an injury, you are never 100% sure, you have certain markers over time, and he was hitting them consistently and sometimes a little bit quicker than we expected," said coach Jacques Nienaber (50), whose captain returned to the side for a warm-up test against Wales in August.

Follow the quarter-final with Flashscore.

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