Boks' BIG 'reality check' as B&I Lions loom large
SPOTLIGHT: The Springboks candidates and management staff were given a BIG “reality check” at the recent alignment caps.
Speaking in the latest issue of the Springbok Digital Magazine, coach Jacques Nienaber opened up on the plans for the forthcoming British & Irish Lions series.
Nienaber, his assistants and the rest of the management staff, had a series of ‘alignment camps’ with potential Bok candidates from the Lions, Bulls, Sharks, Stormers and Cheetahs.
With the Boks not having played since the World Cup Final win over England in November 2019, aligning the players is of the utmost importance ahead of the B&I Lions tour – which is now just on six weeks away.
Nienaber was realistic about the challenges facing his team, with another alignment camp planned for next week – when all the South African-based players will congregate at one venue.
“Just meeting face-to-face was absolutely great, because I haven’t seen some of the players since the World Cup victory parade in November 2019,” said Nienaber.
He described the first set of camps as a ‘reality check’ for the players and management.
🚨 BREAKING 🚨 Revised schedule for #CastleLionsSeries
✈️ All matches moved to Gauteng and Cape Town
🗣️ “New schedule minimises the risks associated with the pandemic”
👉 Full story here: https://t.co/EvymRtz4Au @LionsSeries @lionsofficial #LetsGetReadyToRugby pic.twitter.com/nYSPkyZ3T2
— Springboks (@Springboks) May 14, 2021
“There were four aspects we wanted to get across to the players,” he said, adding that it included general information, commercial information and social media information.
“It is a bit different [than regular Tests], because it is the British and Irish Lions.
“The second issue we discussed was the schedule.
“Due to COVID-19, the schedule is a bit fluid. We put down a schedule with as much detail as we possibly could.
“The third thing – the big part – is the reality check.
“[We spoke about] where we are currently as a team,” he said, adding that the reality check was not just for players, but also for management.
“We focussed on which areas we have to improve, if we look at where we were in 2019 and where we are in 2021.
“The last thing is when the players left the alignment camps they needed to have a great understanding of what they need to do to make [be selected for] the [Bok] squad.”