Cape Town - The Springboks trained in hot and humid conditions in Tokyo over the weekend as they stepped up preparations for Saturday's Rugby World Cup opener against the All Blacks.
No 8 Duane Vermeulen lost up to three kilogrammes in a "relatively light" training session, Aled Walters, the team's head of athletic performance, told media on Sunday.
It was an overcast day, but the temperatures still climbed towards 30°C as the Boks sweated through a gym session, much to the satisfaction of Walters.
"I don't really mind what conditions will be like on match day," Walters said.
"We've had two good weeks of training here in Japan; the purpose of which was to get in some proper training in tough conditions, which is why we purposefully trained in the hottest part of the day to really get the benefit.
"Whether it's 20 degrees or 30 degrees at the weekend I don't mind; we just have to embrace it mentally. The players have been through the worst we can expect so for that reason I think we have had a massive platform of preparation. We've been lucky to have had that time to really get used to the conditions."
Regarding players losing kilogrammes during their training sessions, the fitness guru noted:
"I wouldn't say it was good or bad it's just what happens in these conditions," Walters said.
"In a relatively light training session last week, Duane lost three kilos and it was raining so that's again something that we've become used to.
"Our dietician is all over our hydration and nutrition protocols which are essential and which are in place so the boys can't be slacking off in their physical condition.
"The whole strategy has been in place for the past two weeks and the hydration plan has become a habit for the players - they’re mindful that in the morning before we do anything they monitor their indicators."
Saturday's Test against New Zealand in Yokohama is scheduled for 11:45 (SA time).
Compiled by Herman Mostert
?? "We purposefully trained in the hottest part of the day."
?? @duane_vermeulen lost three kilograms during a training session.
?? Hot or cool, dry or wet: Boks are ready for Japan!
?? https://t.co/W1wLlNu15w#StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/Dm4VCYkPFN
— Springboks (@Springboks) September 15, 2019