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Springboks and Pumas share bio-sphere plane to Brisbane

By Kim Ekin
Jasper Wiese (R) is tackled during the Rugby Championship international rugby union Test match between South Africa and Argentina at The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (Photo by Michael Sheehan / AFP) (Photo by MICHAEL SHEEHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

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The Springboks and the Pumas touched down in Brisbane on Friday after flying to Australia on a chartered bio-sphere plane to lower the risk of exposure to C19.

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The two teams made the journey from Nelson Mandela Bay to Cape Town on Thursday before flying to Brisbane overnight on a charter flight and both teams will be in quarantine for the next 14 days before the opening round of matches on Sunday, 12 September.

Fresh from playing each other in back-to-back games in Port Elizabeth, the South Africa team sat in one row of seats and the Argentines in the other in the spirit of co-operation as both sides bid to remain virus-free for the duration of the Rugby Championship.

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The Springboks will start their tour with a fixture against Australia at the CBUS Super Stadium in Gold Coast, which will be followed by another match-up between the teams at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday, 18 September.

They will then face New Zealand on Saturday, 25 September, at QLD Country Bank Stadium in Townsville and on Saturday, 2 October, at the CBUS Super Stadium in Gold Coast.

“We are excited to be in Australia and to begin our preparations for the away leg of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship,” said Nienaber. “The players had a few days off in Nelson Mandela Bay to rest and recuperate after the Castle Lager Lions Series, two Tests against Argentina and one against Georgia, and they are keen to get back onto the field to do the groundwork for the Tests against Australia and New Zealand.

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“The time zone and conditions are obviously different to that which we experienced in South Africa, so getting acclimatised and settled in as quickly as possible will be vital.

“Fortunately, we are allowed training during specific times of the day while we are in quarantine, and we need to make the most of those sessions to ensure that we hit the ground running in our opening Test.”

The team will be tested on Saturday and will participate in gym and off-field conditioning sessions over the weekend to prepare them for a demanding training week, starting Monday.

“We have two weeks to adapt and settle in, and the team realises the importance of using this time wisely to get ready for the challenging run of matches ahead both mentally and physically as we attempt to defend our Castle Lager Rugby Championship title,” said Nienaber.

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“We are playing against Australia in back-to-back matches on their home patch with supporters in the stadiums – which is something we haven’t experienced since the Rugby World Cup final in 2019 – and then we face the task of playing two Tests in a row against New Zealand.

“So, we are under no illusions about the challenge that awaits us.

“That said, we have achieved rewarding results so far this season with the structures and systems we have in place, and the sooner we get back into swing of things, the better prepared we will be when we take the field.”

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Springboks and Pumas share bio-sphere plane to Brisbane

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