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Boks ready to take 'step up' for Ireland

INTERVIEW: Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus and his team wrapped up their training camp in Pretoria on Friday.

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They are preparing for the opening Test of the two-Test Ireland Series.

Erasmus was pleased with the structures put in place as the squad prepared to move into full Test match mode next week in anticipation of the first of the Tests against Ireland, at Loftus Versfeld.

The second test is a week later at Kings Park.

“We had a good and productive training week despite our flight from London to South Africa being cancelled on Sunday,” the Bok coach said.

“It was pleasing to see how the players who joined us this week stepped back into Test mode and got stuck in at training,” he added.

“Some of the players have been in our set-up for a while, which certainly assisted, and the new players also wasted no time familiarising themselves with the systems and we are pleased with how they slotted in.”

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The Springboks returned to South Africa on Tuesday where they were joined by the rest of their teammates named in Erasmus’ 39-man squad and they immediately got down to business with their first training session of the week.

They had two further training sessions on Wednesday and closed off the week with their final field session on Friday morning.

They will return home for the weekend to spend time with their families and reassemble in the city’s capital on Sunday.

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“I must give credit to our head of high performance and operations team for their hard work to ensure that the week functioned as smoothly as possible despite arriving in SA a day later than expected,” said Erasmus.

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“I believe we are in the right frame of mind for the challenge ahead against the world’s No.2 ranked team.

“We had a chance this week to analyse what we did well against Wales and the areas we need to put more emphasis on going into the Ireland Tests, and we were delighted with the professional manner in which the players made the mindset switch to the Ireland series.

“There is a huge excitement in the group for the challenge ahead, which was evident on and off the field this week.

“Everyone knows that a big step-up is required next week, but we are pleased with the momentum we built up by defeating Wales and getting international game time under the belt.

“Obviously with new members on our coaching staff, the overseas-based players and recruits will have some work to do to ensure the entire group is fully aligned in our new structures, but this week served as a good start in that process.”

Erasmus will name his matchday team to face Ireland on Tuesday.

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In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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