Cape Town - The 12 new players in the
Springbok squad have brought a lot of excitement and energy, Springbok
assistant coach Johann van Graan said on Wednesday.
Van Graan addressed the
media in Johannesburg alongside three of the newcomers - loose forwards
Roelof Smit, Jean-Luc du Preez and Uzair Cassiem.
Cassiem was a standout member of the Free State Cheetahs’ Currie
Cup winning side, Smit was a key figure for runners-up, the Blue
Bulls, and Du Preez was on Monday crowned as the
Players’ Player of the Year.
The Springbok squad have
been together since Sunday and travel to the United Kingdom on Friday,
where they will resume training for the Outgoing Tour
opener against the Barbarians on 5 November at
the Wembley Stadium in London.
The Springboks then play England, Italy
and Wales on consecutive weekends.
Looking back at the three
days of intensive training so far, Van Graan said the coaching staff
was very satisfied with the effort of the 30-man squad.
“The new group of
youngsters obviously brought a lot of excitement and energy with them,”
said Van Graan. “We’ve had three fantastic days’ of training so far and
the players have been brilliant in terms of their
efforts on the training field.”
According to Van Graan,
the squad is spending a lot of time on finer details, so that everyone
is familiar with what is required from the group.
“For now we’ve spent
quite a bit of time on the detail and next week
we will focus more on the specifics of what we want to achieve against
Looking back at the Rugby Championship, Van Graan said: “Coach Allister Coetzee
has said that we want to turn things around on this tour.
“According to the
combined stats of our set pieces - the lineouts and scrums - we actually
topped the averages during the campaign. We want to improve our kicking
game and our defence, and the conditions in the
northern hemisphere will also test your forward play.”
The Springboks will continue their preparations on Thursday and Friday, before flying out to London on Friday evening.