Key Boks available during S15

2011-01-25 18:50
Johannesburg - Springbok management will have access to key national players during the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament, following an agreement with the coaches of the five teams at a cordial and productive meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers and Andy Marinos, Saru’s manager of national teams, met Frans Ludeke (Vodacom Bulls), Naka Drotske (Cheetahs), John Mitchell (Lions), John Plumtree (The Sharks) and Allister Coetzee (DHL Stormers) to discuss player management. Franchise CEOs and Union presidents, as well as the Saru presidency, also attended the meeting.

Player welfare and conditioning of elite Springboks was at the top of the agenda for all present.

“Vodacom Super Rugby is very important to our teams and our supporters, and we understand the need to perform in the competition from a psychological point of view as well,” said Peter de Villiers.

“The franchises are going into the unknown in some ways, with four more South African derby matches added to the Super Rugby schedule, and that has changed the landscape for all our teams. But they all realise the importance of the Rugby World Cup – not just to the country – but to the individual players in their squads.”

The Vodacom Super Rugby season kicks off on February 18, and runs until the final on July 9.

The Springboks play their first Tri-Nations Test against the Wallabies in Sydney two weeks later, and the Series concludes for the Boks just three weeks before the first match of Rugby World Cup 2011.

“There is an intense season ahead for the players, and it was important to get everyone on the same page,” said Marinos. “We have discussed in broad terms what we believe would assist the Springbok cause.

“We will work in conjunction with the franchises on the medical and conditioning aspects, and we will have access to the players depending on the teams’ playing schedules.”

The Springboks are due to release their first squad of the year on July 9, and have to submit their final World Cup squad to the International Rugby Board on August 22.          

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