South Africa: Springboks invite eight new players to training camp in Cape Town

Jacques Nienaber SA head coach 2022 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy
Jacques Nienaber SA head coach 2022 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

After completing their first training camp of the year with 14 players, the Springboks announced that they will continue to host alignment sessions in Cape Town with eight new players this weekend.

Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi and other experienced internationals like Eben Etzebeth, Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe were part of the initial squad of players who got the Boks’ preparations for their 2023 Test campaign underway with a training camp in Cape Town from Sunday, February 19 to Friday, March 10.

Initial group of players to return to their franchises

Those players will now return to their franchises while the following players: Joseph Dweba (hooker), Deon Fourie (utility forward), Marco van Staden (flanker), Evan Roos (number eight), Herschel Jantjies and Grant Williams (scrum-halves), Manie Libbok (fly-half) and Sbu Nkosi (wing) – will be participate in off-field training sessions on Saturday and Sunday.

“We’ve planned to host alignment sessions – some in person such as at these two camps, and others online with the overseas-based players – to ensure that everyone is on the same page in terms of what is expected of them, where we are as a team and the areas of our game that we would like to improve,” said Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber.

“With the players we are actively tracking being scattered around the country and the world, it means we need to be innovative in the way we interact with them. But the most important factor is that we have regular communication with them as we work toward the Rugby World Cup.

“The players attending the sessions over the weekend have been participating in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, so we are pleased to get this opportunity to work with them face-to-face.”

Nienaber said he was satisfied that the Boks had achieved their goals at their training camp in Cape Town and Stellenbosch over the last three weeks.

“We were fortunate to have this camp,” he added. “It was crucial from a rest, rugby and development perspective for the players.

“The focus during this period was to develop their physical capabilities as well as their fundamental skills, and the players will now return to their franchises for the closing stages of the Vodacom URC and the Heineken Champions Cup.

“It was excellent in the sense that we had on-field sessions and off-field alignment sessions, which allowed us to analyse where the game is at this point and what we have to work on, and we were pleased to see the collaboration between the coaches and players.

“We’ll now keep a close eye on how the players kick on from this and implement what they learned at franchise level.”

The Springboks will kick off a bumper 2023 season against Australia in Pretoria on Saturday, July 8, in the opening round of the shortened Rugby Championship, which will be followed by clashes against New Zealand at the Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland a week later, and Argentina in Johannesburg on Saturday, July 29, in their final match on home soil before the build-up to their Rugby World Cup defence starts.

In August, the Boks will travel to Buenos Aires to take on the Pumas before facing Wales and the All Blacks in Rugby World Cup warm-up matches in Cardiff and London in the final build-up to the global showpiece in France.

Boks’ World Cup squad to be named in August

Nienaber will announce his Rugby World Cup squad on Tuesday, August 8.

South Africa will launch their Rugby World Cup title defence on Sunday, September 10, against Scotland in Marseille, which will be followed by pool matches against Romania in Bordeaux (September 17), Ireland in Paris (September 23) and Tonga in Marseille (October 1).

The Rugby World Cup quarter-finals will be played on the weekend of October 14/15, with the semi-finals on October 20/21 and the final on Saturday, October 28.

READ MORE: Springboks: Rassie Erasmus admits to ‘some errors’ with World Rugby and confirms talks with Nigel Owens

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