Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has decided to cancel the final field session at the national training camp currently underway in Cape Town to give the players a break before this weekend’s penultimate round of Super Rugby.
The camp started on Sunday evening and will conclude with an off-field session on Wednesday morning instead of the planned field session.
“It’s the business end of the Super Rugby season and most of the players have already played a lot of rugby this year,” said Meyer.
“We’re also still in a situation where half the squad gathered here can’t take part in full training and we certainly don’t want to risk more injuries. The players’ welfare is always paramount to us.
“The Stormers host the Lions in Cape Town this weekend, while the Cheetahs have a tough match at home against the Waratahs in Bloemfontein and the Sharks only recently returned from a taxing tour and they deserve a bit of a break.”
Meyer reiterated that the national team will keep the interests of the players and the Vodacom Super Rugby franchises firmly in mind when it comes to player management as the training squad concluded their first field session on Monday afternoon.
Of the 44 players invited to the camp more than half of them could not take a full part in Monday’s field session in cold and windy conditions at the Cape Town Stadium, as was the case at the previous camp in Johannesburg.
“Although we have invited big groups to our training camps, I know all of them have what it takes to play for South Africa,” said Meyer.
“We also knew a lot of them wouldn’t be able to train and our commitment has always been not to risk any injured players.
“The camp has given us the opportunity to put in a lot of off-field work, complete administrative tasks and do PR and promotional work, while new players are exposed to the Springbok culture and ethos.
“We also spend time with the players to tell them where they stand, what to work on and where they can improve to make the Rugby World Cup squad. When we get to England later this year, we will need a lot of depth and these camps address that.
“The players also benefit individually and I’ve been especially pleased with a number of the younger players who have worked extremely hard and improved drastically since our last camp.
“We know the match against the World XV next month will be a proper test of our squad. Robbie Deans and Bernard Laporte are vastly experienced coaches and they will select a strong squad for this match.”
The following players did not take full part in training on Monday: Frans Malherbe, Scarra Ntubeni, Siya Kolisi, Elton Jantjies, Lionel Mapoe, Ryan Kankowski, Willem Alberts, Tendai Mtawarira, Faf de Klerk, Coenie Oosthuizen, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jean de Villiers, Vincent Koch, Warren Whiteley, Michael Rhodes, Willie le Roux, Jean Deysel, Ruan Botha, Kobus van Wyk, Pat Lambie, Cobus Reinach, Oupa Mohoje, Lood de Jager, Heinrich Brüssow.