Rugby Championship

Duane: Lessons learnt for Boks

2014-08-06 10:20
Duane Vermeulen (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen says lessons learned during the June Tests have put the team in a great position ahead of the Rugby Championship.

The Springboks enjoyed an impressive start to the 2014 season, beating the World XV (47-13), Wales (38-16 and 31-30) and Scotland (55-6). South Africa scored 23 tries during these games, which creates great attacking confidence heading into the Rugby Championship.

The squad gathered in Johannesburg on Monday to start their tournament preparations. Vermeulen explained that the team boasts a special environment.

"We saw guys like Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha and Schalk Burger return to the national squad. For me, it was the first time training and playing alongside Victor and Schalk at international level," Vermeulen told the MyPlayers website.

"The June Tests also created opportunities for younger players to put up their hand. They have proven that there's exciting talent coming through the ranks in South African rugby.

"With this mix of experience, there's a great atmosphere and camaraderie among the players."

Vermeulen believed that it was important for the Springboks to learn from the lessons that occurred during the June Tests, highlighting the close encounter in the second Test against Wales.

"That game against Wales was a huge test of character," said Vermeulen. "We did very well to play our way back into the match and win it. All the players learned from that experience, especially the younger guys.  

"Otherwise, we were very pleased with our performances. It will be important to build on the positives heading into the Rugby Championship. We were pumped up in June, so we'll be working hard to maintain that momentum."

The Boks kick off their campaign against Argentina in Pretoria next Saturday (August 16).

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