Boks are back in camp
NEWS: The Springboks will assemble in Durban next week for two preparation camps.
The purpose is to their on-and-off-field structures in place for the 2023 international season.
The first camp will take place from Wednesday, May 17 to Friday, May 19.
The second camp will be running from Monday, May 29 to Wednesday, May 31.
Fifteen players have been invited, but the group excludes players from the Stormers, who are preparing for the United Rugby Championship semifinal this weekend.
The Boks will begin their official preparations for the Rugby Championship at a training camp in Pretoria from Monday, June 12 to Friday, June 30.
The team will switch to Test-match mode the following week for their opening match of the Southern Hemisphere showpiece against Australia at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, July 8.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber’s charges will then depart for New Zealand for their second Test of the condensed version of the competition against the All Blacks at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland (July 15), before returning to South Africa for the closing match of the competition against Argentina in Johannesburg (July 29).
The composition of the squad for the camps will include a group of 15 players from local URC teams – some of whom are recovering from injuries – and a few Japanese-based players who have also completed their club commitments.
Several other locally selected players might join the camps after completing their URC commitments.
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“With the United Rugby Championship nearing an end and the Rugby Championship around the corner we decided to host two camps to get the ball rolling and get everyone on the same page for the international season,” said Nienaber.
“The camps will include both off and on-field sessions and they will offer us a great opportunity to get the building blocks in place for our first full-on training camp in June in preparation for the Rugby Championship in July.
“These camps will build on those we hosted in Cape Town and Stellenbosch respectively at the end of February and March, which included a bunch of locally based players.”
Nienaber added that with a little over four months to go before the World Cup kicks off, every day with the players would count.
“The Rugby Championship is around the corner, and then we have three warm-up games and the World Cup, so we have very little time to get all our plans in place and ensure we peak in terms of our performance to give us the best possible chance to defend our title in France.
“This is a crucial season, and it is imperative that we make important strides in each match we play and grow stronger together as team.”
Players invited to Springbok camps (in alphabetical order): Lukhanyo Am (Sharks), Kurt-Lee Arendse (Bulls), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Verblitz), Thomas du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Jaden Hendrikse, Siyamthanda Kolisi (all Sharks), Willie le Roux (Verblitz), Makazole Mapimpi, Bongi Mbonambi (both Sharks), Canan Moodie (Bulls), Retshegofaditswe Nche (Sharks), Albertus Smith (Blue Revs), Marco van Staden (Bulls), Grant Williams (Sharks).
Springbok 2023 fixtures:
Saturday, 8 July – v Australia (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
Saturday, 15 July – v New Zealand (Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland)
Saturday, 29 July – v Argentina (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)
RWC warm-up fixtures:
Saturday, 5 August – v Argentina (Velez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires)
Saturday, 19 August – v Wales (Principality Stadium, Cardiff)
Friday, 25 August – v New Zealand (Twickenham, London)
Sunday, 10 September – Springboks v Scotland (Stade Marseille, Marseille)
Sunday, 17 September – Springboks v Romania (Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux)
Saturday, 23 September – Springboks v Ireland (Stade de France, Paris)
Sunday, 1 October – Springboks v Tonga (Stade Marseille, Marseille)
Weekend of 14/15 October – quarterfinals
Weekend of 21/22 October – semifinals
Saturday, 28 October – Final