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Springbok training camp bolstered by eight newcomers

By Rugby365
(Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has invited eight new players to a two-day alignment camp in Cape Town this weekend.

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These camps are part of the Boks’ preparations for the Rugby World Cup in France in September and October, where they will attempt to defend their world champions title.

As the initial group returns to their franchises following an eight-week regeneration block, which included a four-week rest period and another four-week rugby and physical development block, another eight players – Joseph Dweba (hooker), Deon Fourie (utility forward), Marco van Staden (flanker), Evan Roos (No 8), Herschel Jantjies and Grant Williams (scrumhalves), Manie Libbok (flyhalf) and Sbu Nkosi (wing) – will be involved in two days of off-field sessions on Saturday and Sunday.

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“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 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 United Rugby Championship, so we are pleased to get this opportunity to work with them face-to-face.”

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Commenting on the training camp hosted in Cape Town and Stellenbosch in the last three weeks, Nienaber said he was satisfied that they had achieved their objectives.

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

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 URC and the  Champions Cup.”

Nienaber added: “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.”

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The Springboks will kick off the 2023 international 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 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 World Cup.

South Africa will launch their Rugby World Cup title defence on Sunday, 10 September, 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.

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

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Flankly 17 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

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