'Sad to lose good team man': van Rensburg out of Springboks squad
Springboks lock Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg will miss the remainder of the Rugby Championship after being forced to withdraw from the squad due to personal reasons. Having made his Test debut against Argentina last month in Port Elizabeth, van Rensburg was one of five specialist locks in the touring squad, the others being Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert and Marvin Orie.
Utility forwards Rynhardt Elstadt and Jean-Luc du Preez can cover lock and loose forward, which gives Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber sufficient options in the second row as they prepare to take on Australia in Brisbane next Saturday and then New Zealand twice in Queensland.
“It is always sad to lose a player, and especially such a good team man, but Nicolaas has personal matters to attend to, and as a Springbok family we support him,” said Nienaber when asked to explain why van Rensburg, the French-based Montpellier forward, was leaving the Springboks.
“With the strict Covid-19 protocols to enter Australia, which includes a mandatory two-week quarantine, he will not be returning. But we are fortunate to have depth in our touring squad as we prepare for a challenging string of matches against Australia and New Zealand in the next three weeks.”
The Springboks made the journey from their base at Sanctuary Cove near Brisbane to the city centre on Monday and Nienaber and his coaching team immediately got down to business to pinpoint the areas of the game that let them down in their last-minute 28-26 defeat in Gold Coast on Sunday.
Here's how the Springboks rated in their shock loss to the Wallabies in their Rugby Championship clash on the Gold Coast on Sunday. #Springboks #RSAvAUS #RugbyChampionship #TRC2021 https://t.co/xZnI7hhY6y
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 13, 2021
The team had Monday off to recover and they resumed their on-field preparations for Saturday’s showdown against the Wallabies at the Suncorp Stadium on Tuesday. “We had a review of the performance on Tuesday morning and identified the areas we need to place extra emphasis on this week,” said Nienaber.
“The entire squad was disappointed about the result, but it’s important that we put it behind us and ensure that we don’t make the same mistakes again. We have three big matches coming up, and if we win them all we can still defend our Rugby Championship title, so we will continue to work hard on the field to achieve that.”
"I was having a drink of Red Bull thinking he [Biggar] will be fine. Then he went back down again and I was like, ‘He is going to come off so I better stand up and shake a leg a little bit’."
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 14, 2021
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