Contracted Boks to gather in Cape Town

19 October 2017 - 09:00
By CRAIG RAY in Cape Town
Eben Etzebeth (captain) of the Springboks celebrates Raymond Rhule of the Springboks scoring during the 2017 Rugby Championship game between South Africa and Argentina at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth on 19 August 2017.
Image: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix Eben Etzebeth (captain) of the Springboks celebrates Raymond Rhule of the Springboks scoring during the 2017 Rugby Championship game between South Africa and Argentina at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth on 19 August 2017.

A dozen contracted Springboks will gather for fitness assessments and tactical training in Cape Town next week as part of the squad’s preparation for the year-end tour to Ireland‚ Europe and Britain in November.

Led by Bok captain Eben Etzebeth‚ the 12 players will gather for four days in the Mother City. Players involved in the Currie Cup semifinals and final‚ or on duty with clubs in Japan and Britain‚ were not considered.

The purpose of the camp is to give Springbok management firsthand opportunity to assess the medical‚ conditioning and fitness status of the selected group as the Springboks step up their preparations for the tour.

South Africa’s opponents during their month-long European tour are Ireland (November 11‚ Dublin)‚ France (November 18‚ Paris)‚ Italy (November 25‚ Padua) and Wales (December 2‚ Cardiff).

The small group will work under the supervision of the Springbok medical and conditioning team‚ while the coaches will also put them through their paces with skills training and tactical planning sessions.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said the camp forms an important part of their preparation for the end of year tour.

“The European tour will provide us with different challenges and we will therefore use the four days to spend some time on our fundamentals‚ continued rehabilitation and conditioning of this group of players‚” said Coetzee.

“Our management will be working hard during this period to finalise our detailed planning for the upcoming tour‚ and overall it will give us a good indication of the progress of those players who have recovered from injury‚ or those currently battling with niggles.

“They now had proper rest and recovery for almost two weeks and we must make sure they are rugby ready to ensure optimal performance for the challenges awaiting us during the end of the year tour.”

The Springbok squad for the end of year tour will be announced on Sunday‚ October 29 – the day after the Currie Cup final – and will assemble in Johannesburg on Monday‚ October 30.

The following players will attend a four-day training‚ assessment and conditioning camp in Cape Town:

Frans Malherbe (prop‚ DHL Western Province‚ medical assessments only)

Tendai Mtawarira (prop‚ Cell C Sharks)

Coenie Oosthuizen (prop‚ Cell C Sharks)

Trevor Nyakane (prop‚ Vodacom Blue Bulls)

Steven Kitshoff (prop‚ DHL Western Province)

Eben Etzebeth (lock‚ DHL Western Province)

Pieter-Steph du Toit (lock / flank‚ DHL Western Province)

Lood de Jager (lock‚ Vodacom Blue Bulls)

Siya Kolisi (flank‚ DHL Western Province)

Handré Pollard (flyhalf‚ Vodacom Blue Bulls)

Damian de Allende (centre‚ DHL Western Province)

Jesse Kriel (centre‚ Vodacom Blue Bulls)