Bok veterans give rookies 'sound advice'
SPOTLIGHT: The Springbok showdown is a perfect opportunity for international hopefuls to get first-hand experience of what it requires to be a Springbok.
A raft of Springboks, BlitzBoks and Junior Boks will be in action when two 25-man squads, namely Green and Gold, face each other at Newlands on Saturday.
The match serves as Springbok trails.
Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus and Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber made no secret that this weekend’s match is an opportunity for the players to make a statement and plea their case for selection.
Speaking to reporters via virtual press conference, World Cup winner and Gold team member Steven Kitshoff revealed how full of vigour and talented the ‘new faces’ are.
“There are several new faces in the teams and there is a lot of information coming through and detail they need to learn, but they are all willing to learn and work hard.
“There are some really talented and energetic youngsters who are part of the group at the moment and it is great to see them getting an opportunity, and hopefully they will display some good skill and showcase their talent this weekend.”
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Fellow Gold teammate Herschel Jantjies has urged players to soak up as much information while they are in the Springboks ‘environment’.
“This week is a good time to learn,” the 24-year-old Jantjies said, adding: “You’re never too old to learn.
“The players, young and old, should take as much out of this as possible.
“It will certainly make us, and especially the younger guys, better players as well.”
Green team member Duane Vermeulen echoed the sentiments of his fellow Springboks and said: “There are a lot of youngsters and now have an opportunity to display their skills on a bigger stage.
“Whenever we get together again as a Springbok squad that could stand them in good stead.
“There are guys like Arno Botha who have been in the fold before, and now they’re back in the mix and getting another opportunity.
“I think it would be nice for the coaches to see what they can do and if they still have the burning desire to play for the Boks.
“Rassie and Jacques always talk about being a warrior, and they’ll want to see who has that warrior spirit in them, and then from there you can always develop a few different skills once you’re in the Springbok set-up.”
In terms of team news, Springbok Lood de Jager joined the Green team as their line-out coach.
He will assist Springbok Green team coach Mzwandile Stick and assistant coach Daan Human before going under the knife next week.
The Gold team had a new edition in Springbok scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl, who replaces Jaden Hendrikse following his withdrawal due to a chest injury.