Fri 28 May 2021 | 12:36

VIDEO: Boks at full strength against Georgia

Rassie Erasmus on fielding the strongest possible team against Georgia
Fri 28 May 2021 | 12:36
VIDEO: Boks at full strength against Georgia
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NEWS: Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber will name a ‘full-strength’ team to face Georgia in two warm-up matches in July.

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Given that the Boks have not played as a team since winning the World Cup in November 2019, they will use the two encounters with the East Europeans to get the building blocks in place for the three-Test series against the British and Irish Lions.

Georgia, considered a second-tier nation, participate in the Europe Championship – against Tier Two and Tier Three countries like Romania, Portugal, Russia and Spain.

Despite the ‘lowly’ status of The Lelos, Nienaber is not going to field a second-string team or rest his frontline selection.

Fronting up in a virtual media briefing the Bok coach said that he will field his “strongest possible” selection to help with the preparation for the B&I Lions series.

It was also revealed that a Bok squad of 45 will be named next Saturday to take part in the mid-year internationals.

The squad will form the basis from which the Bok Test team and the SA ‘A’ team for the encounters with the V&I Lions will be selected from.

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Nienaber confirmed that because the Georgia Tests fall inside the international window, they are allowed to consider all the players based abroad.

Two Tests against Georgia will also take place on Fridays (July 2 and July 9), to ensure they don’t clash with the B&I Lions’ tour matches on Saturdays.

The venues and kick-off times for the Georgia internationals will be revealed shortly.

The B&I Lions face the Johannesburg-based Lions in their tour opener in Johannesburg on July 3 and the Bulls in Pretoria on July 10.

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He said his goals for the Georgia series are three-fold.

“From a strategic point of view, the first goal is to win,” Nienaber told the media briefing.

Then they will also look at transformation and ain to broaden the squad with a view to the future.

Nienaber confirmed that three players are currently “touch and go” for the Lions Tests, as they continue their rehabilitation from injuries.

Lodewyk de Jager is recovering from a leg fracture, suffered in a freak training ground accident.

Fellow World Cup-winning lock Rudolph Snyman suffered a setback during the last block of his rehabilitation.

The Springboks lock, who suffered an ACL injury just seven minutes into his debut against Leinster last August, underwent a minor procedure on his knee after suffering an unrelated injury earlier this month.

Fullback Warrick Gelant underwent surgery after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament during the ‘Stormers’ encounter with the Bulls in a Currie Cup encounter in December.

Then there are three players who retired after the World Cup victory – prop Tendai Mtawarira, hooker Schalk Brits and loose forward Francois Louw.

The rest of the victorious World Cup squad will be available for the series against the Lions.

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VIDEO: Boks at full strength against Georgia | Rugby365