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Boks' first step to combat 'massive year'

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Springbok coaches, management and a group of 14 players will kick off the 2023 season with a three-week physical and rugby development camp in Cape Town – from Sunday until Friday, March 10.


The camp is the first team activity of the year as the side gear up for the 2023 World Cup in France in September and October.

The 14 players who will assemble in the Mother City on Sunday, are all players of national interest and who have been on a break from the United Rugby Championship competition in the last few weeks.

The camp will involve a series of off-field alignment sessions as well as on-field training sessions to prepare the players for the remainder of the season from a rugby and physical perspective.

The players will re-join their domestic franchises for the closing stages of the URC and Champions Cup competitions respectively.

“We are thrilled to get this important season going albeit with a small group of players as we look forward to the World Cup in less than seven months,” said Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber.

“All of these players come off an important resting period, so the next three weeks will be crucial to ensure that they return to full-out rugby as effectively as possible and to get everyone aligned with our structures going into the World Cup year.


“Our first Rugby World Cup encounter against Scotland on Sunday, September 10, is approaching fast, so we have to make the most of each day we have with the players.”

Nienaber added: “Player management will be particularly important this season to get the squad to peak at the right time, while at the same time getting the desired results in the Rugby Championship, our World Cup warm-up games and at the international showpiece as we attempt to defend our title.”

SA Rugby Director of Rugby Johan ‘Rassie’ Erasmus echoed Nienaber’s sentiments: “This is a massive year for the team, and we can’t wait to get back into the swing of things with an eye on the World Cup.

“With the URC on the go, we only have a small bunch of players available to work with at this stage, but we know from past experience that every minute with the players on and off the field counts in a World Cup year.


“I would like to thank the franchises for their cooperation and assistance in ensuring that some of our key players could get the rest they needed physically and mentally as we enter this critical year for the team and the country.

“I would also like to thank MyPlayers for their role in making the break possible for the players.”

The Springboks will kick off a bumper 2023 season against Australia in Pretoria on Saturday, July 8, in the opening round of the shortened Rugby Championship, which will be followed by clashes against New Zealand at the Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland a week later, and Argentina in Johannesburg on Saturday, July 29, in their final match on home soil before the build-up to their World Cup defence starts.

In August, the Boks will travel to Buenos Aires to take on the Pumas before facing Wales and the All Blacks in Rugby World Cup warm-up matches in Cardiff and London in the final build-up to the global showpiece in France.

South Africa will launch their Rugby World Cup title defence on Sunday, September 10, against Scotland in Marseille, which will be followed by pool matches against Romania in Bordeaux (September 17), Ireland in Paris (September 23) and Tonga in Marseille (October 1).

The World Cup quarter-finals will be played on the weekend of October 14/15, with the semi-finals on October 20/21 and the final on Saturday, October 28.


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