Boks fly in 'reinforcements'
Andre Esterhuizen and Marvin Orie are set to join the Springbok squad in Auckland, New Zealand, where the South Africans are preparing for their last match of the Rugby Championship, which takes next Saturday against Argentina in Salta.
Esterhuizen (centre) and Orie (lock) did not travel with the Bok squad to New Zealand, after being involved in the squad for the win over Australia in Johannesburg two weekends ago.
Orie was on Currie Cup duty with the Golden Lions, where they beat Western Province 30-28 in Cape Town at the weekend.
Following their 16-all draw with the All Blacks in Wellington at the weekend, the Boks stayed in New Zealand – rather than fly back to South Africa.
They now have the much easier trip from Auckland to Buenos Aires, ahead of their encounter with Argentina in the final round of the Rugby Championship – rather than another long haul to Johannesburg, then on to Argentina via Brazil.
The Springboks scored a converted try in the last minute of the match against the All Blacks to share the spoils 16-all in Wellington, and they currently top the Rugby Championship standings with seven points from two matches, one more than holders New Zealand.
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The Springboks enjoyed a rest day on Monday, following their transfer to Auckland on Sunday, and they will have a team-building exercise on Tuesday with field-training sessions set to resume on Wednesday.
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus said their travel plans will continue to play a key role in the Springboks’ preparations over the last two weeks of the shortened 2019 campaign.
“Although we did not manage to beat New Zealand, I think we could see the benefit of sending a group of players out to Wellington earlier than the rest of the squad,” said Erasmus.
“We have a good plan in place for the next two weeks, which includes our transfer to Buenos Aires and the match-build for the Pumas Test.”
Meanwhile, Springbok scrumhalf Francois de Klerk will undergo a graduated return to play process after his failed head injury assessment during the Test at the Westpac Stadium.
The squad will fly out to Argentina in two batches over the coming weekend and they will be based in Buenos Aires for their Test build-up before flying out to Salta next Thursday.
A bonus-point win over the Pumas will seal the Rugby Championship campaign for the South Africans.
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