Boks ready‚ steady‚ and just want to go for the Rugby World Cup‚ says Rassie
He’s nervous‚ excited and comfortable his team has prepared well.
Now Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus says‚ the Springboks need to go and prove it when they set off for the Rugby World Cup in Japan on Friday.
The anticipation is too much to bear for Erasmus and the players and after all the planning‚ plotting and preparation there’s the itch to get onto the jet bound for Singapore and then on to Tokyo.
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“The week feels long‚ we can’t wait to get on the plane. Everything is in place. The trick now is to show it on that side with our results‚” said Erasmus about his team’s state of readiness for the quadrennial event.
His team are in reasonable form having gone unbeaten this year‚ his squad is by and large fit and almost all of them except captain Siya Kolisi and utility back Frans Steyn can go a full 80 minutes.
They have also been conditioned so that they can still up the intensity the deeper they go into the tournament.
Kolisi and Steyn are part of the loose ends the coach still needs to tie before their crunch opening clash against New Zealand on September 21.
What does he still need to do before the start of the tournament?
“Getting guys like Siya 100 percent fit and match ready to get him through 80 minutes. There are a few other guys. Frans we slowly got into the mix. We need to get him to go a full 80 if he needs to.
“There are other guys who have little injury niggles they have to get through‚” said the coach who also noted that the warm-up match against Japan is likely to present challenges.
“There are some game specific things that we have to rectify. The scrums were better‚ the line-outs we have to improve a little bit. The breakdowns were really good.
“There are some personnel stuff we still have to get right‚” said Erasmus.
Ultimately‚ however‚ it is injury that he wants to avoid against the hosts on September 6.
The weeks leading up to the start of the tournament will also be an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the ways of new opposition defence analyst Felix Jones.
“I should perhaps apologise for the way I phrased that. Felix actually analyses the opposition’s defence structure‚” said Erasmus.
“How do they defend and where are the weaknesses in their defence? Where can we attack?
“We felt our attacking structures are in place. In the last two Tests ‘Stokke’ [Mzwandile Stick] and I coached that.
“The players felt that if we get someone who knows the northern hemisphere teams and who can analyse their defence‚ especially once we get to quarterfinals‚ semifinals onwards‚ we can make the [attacking plans] ourselves.
“I worked at Munster for two years with him. He was the attack coach. We had an 83 percent win record and we attacked really well.
“He’s a good attack coach. We don’t have to convince him with how we want to play.”