Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee is satisfied with the results of the Springbok medical and conditioning assessment camp which took place over a four-day period and was concluded here on Thursday.
Eleven Springbok players attended the camp, which Coetzee described as an important part of the Springboks’ overall preparations for the upcoming year-end tour to Europe.
“We had a similar camp before the Rugby Championship and I am pleased to once more say that this camp was a very good, productive exercise and that I am delighted that we achieved our goals for the week,” said Coetzee.
According to the Springbok coach, the brief but important get together will be of great benefit for the team’s forthcoming European tour, which consists of Tests against Ireland, France, Italy and Wales on consecutive Saturdays. The Boks’ first Test is against Ireland on November 11 in Dublin.
“This group of players were last in action almost three weeks ago against New Zealand in Cape Town, so apart from the much needed rest, it is also very important that they are rugby ready when the full squad gets together next week in Johannesburg,” explained Coetzee.
“The challenges are obviously completely different to what we faced against France in June and during the Rugby Championship. So the manner in which we prepare before and during the tour is very important.”
During their time together, the players focused on sharpening their core skills and spent a lot of time on the technical aspects of their tour preparations.
According to Konrad von Hagen, the Springbok team doctor, the main aim of the get together was to assess the medical status of the group and to top up on their strength and conditioning levels.
“The players enjoyed two weeks of active rest after the conclusion of a very demanding Rugby Championship, which also included a huge amount of long distance travel,” explained Von Hagen.
“The third week (this week), we used to reassess their medical status and focussed on fine-tuning their strength and conditioning.”
Handre Pollard and Eben Etzebeth both sustained concussion against New Zealand and they are currently busy with their final return to play protocols. Etzebeth twisted his ankle during a training session and as a precaution he was taken for an MRI scan, which revealed a low grade ligament injury, but he should be available for the first tour match.
Coetzee will announce his Springbok squad of 34 players on Sunday, a day after the Currie Cup final, and the squad will assemble in Johannesburg on Monday afternoon.
The following players attended the Springbok assessment camp in Cape Town:
Handre Pollard, Lood de Jager, Jesse Kriel, Trevor Nyakane (all Blue Bulls), Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Damian de Allende (all Western Province), Beast Mtawarira and Coenie Oosthuizen (both Sharks)