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The Erasmus verdict on Libbok, Mngomezulu after Springboks camp

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Rassie Erasmus has given his thoughts on how newcomers Manie Libbok and Sacha Mngomezulu fared during this week’s Springboks training camp in Stellenbosch. The South Africans assembled a 26-strong squad for the three-day training camp that included 17 locally-based players and nine who currently ply their trade in Japan and will now announce their Test and A team squad for their European tour on Friday.


“It was a fantastic camp and it offered the coaches an ideal opportunity to get the players to switch their focus to the Ireland Test next week and the forthcoming SA A matches,” said Erasmus.

“It was also valuable in the sense that it exposed new players such as Manie (Libbok) and Sacha (Mngomezulu) to our structures and to see them in action as we finalise the selections for the Springbok and SA A teams. It was pleasing to see their and the rest of the training squad’s enthusiasm.

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“The Springboks are facing the two best teams in the world on successive weekends in Ireland and France, and Italy and England are always forces to be reckoned with – especially at home. Munster and Bristol are top clubs and will test the SA A team thoroughly, and we are now all on the same page in terms of the expectations on the players and coaches.

“The next step is to decide which players will depart for Ireland on Saturday as members of the Springbok squad for the Castle Lager outgoing tour, and those who will travel straight to Cork on Saturday, November 5, as part of the SA A touring group.


“The training camp was beneficial in many ways as the players are back in Test mode, we had an opportunity to look at and discuss the opposition we will be facing on tour, and we had a golden opportunity to work with the SA A coaching team and expose them to the way we do things at the Springboks.


“There is a huge sense of excitement within the squad among the management and players, but we are under no illusions about the magnitude of the challenge that lies ahead.”

The players who will depart for Ireland on Saturday will be withdrawn from their respective URC franchises this weekend, while the other players will be eligible for selection for the two local derbies. The Springboks touring squad will assemble in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon and will depart for Ireland later in the evening.


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