Cape Town - The second Springbok alignment camp concluded on Wednesday in Vanderbijlpark with Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby, expressing his satisfaction with the progress of the team’s preparations for the forthcoming international season.
Erasmus and the Springbok management team held two alignment camps to date, with a final one planned for Durban in two weeks’ time - from April 22-25.
A combined group of 22 players from the Stormers and Lions attended the second camp over the past four days at the Riverside Resort in Vanderbijlpark, south of Johannesburg. The Springbok management are using the three alignment camps to accelerate preparations for the forthcoming international season.
Speaking after the conclusion of the second camp, Erasmus said the Springbok management are very pleased with the amount of work they were able to get through with the large group at the recent camp.
“We were able to work with a combined total of 34 players from three different franchises during the first two camps,” said Erasmus.
“I am sure that after the final camp, we would have covered a lot of groundwork with most of the players we have in mind for the June internationals.
“The sessions are very intense and we are confident that everyone - players, coaching staff and the various franchise team representatives who sat in during all the sessions - will all be aligned and have a clear picture of our plans for Wales and England after these camps.
“I want to reiterate that the success of the June Tests will be determined by how the Springbok coaching staff and the players follow through on what was agreed upon at the camps when the players are back at their franchise teams.”
Several coaching staff members of the Lions and the Stormers were also present at the second camp.
Swys de Bruin (head coach) and Ivan van Rooyen (conditioning coach) from the Lions coaches who joined their players at the planning and technical sessions, while the Stormers’ Russell Winter (assistant coach), Paul Treu (assistant coach) and Steph du Toit (conditioning coach) were also present.
Last week’s first assembly at the same venue comprised of 12 Bulls players. No on-field activities take place during the camps and the focus of the various sessions is exclusively on alignment, which will ensure a smooth transition from Super Rugby to the Springboks when the squad gets together for the June internationals.
The Springboks start their international commitments with a clash against Wales in Washington DC on Saturday, June 2. They then return immediately after to South Africa to face England in the Incoming Series, which will comprise three Tests on consecutive weekends.
Ellis Park in Johannesburg will host the series opener on June 9, while the second Test takes place on June 16 at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, and the final match in the series will be contested a week later at Newlands in Cape Town.