Jacques Nienaber and Siya Kolisi happy with progress made at Springbok training camp

David Skippers
Springboks huddle at training 2023 - PA.jpg

Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber and captain Siya Kolisi are delighted with the progress made at their second preparation camp in Durban from Monday to Wednesday.

Nienaber and Kolisi – who attended both camps in Durban while recovering from knee surgery – expressed their delight with the building blocks the side put in place and are looking forward to their next training camp in June.

Boks’ Rugby Championship campaign starts in Pretoria

South Africa will start their 2023 Test campaign with a Rugby Championship clash against Australia in Pretoria on Saturday, July 8.

That will be followed by an encounter against New Zealand at the Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland a week later and Argentina in Johannesburg on Saturday, July 29, in their last match on home soil before they start the build-up to the defence of their Rugby World Cup title.

In August, the Boks head to Buenos Aires to face Los Pumas in a Rugby World Cup warm-up game before they take on Wales and the All Blacks in Cardiff and London, respectively in other friendlies ahead of the global showpiece.

They start their Rugby World Cup campaign on Sunday, September 10, against Scotland in Marseille, before facing Romania in Bordeaux (September 17), Ireland in Paris (September 23) and Tonga in Marseille (October 1) in their other pool matches.

The 33-man Bok training squad built on their first preparation camp in Durban two weeks ago with a series of field training sessions, gym sessions and team meetings.

“We are delighted with the foundation we put in place in at our two preparation camps in Durban and our alignment camps hosted in Cape Town and Stellenbosch earlier this year, and we believe we have a strong basis to build from as we start preparing for the Castle Lager Rugby Championship,” said Nienaber.

“The players have been working very hard and they know what we expect from them as we gear up to the Test season. We were fortunate to have a manageable size training squad at this training camp, and it was also fantastic to see the progress made by the injured players, who had another valuable opportunity to work face-to-face with our medical team.

“We’ll now turn our attention to the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, with our preparations for the competition set to kick off in Pretoria next month.”

With exactly 100 days to go until the start of the World Cup, Nienaber and Kolisi are excited that the Boks were able to mark the milestone to the four yearly sporting event together as a training group and said they realised the importance of making the most of every moment in the lead-up to the competition.

“Seeing the world-wide hype around the 100-day mark from the Rugby World Cup today was great and it was awesome to share that moment with the training squad,” added Nienaber.

“One can sense the urgency and excitement among the players to get the ball rolling full-time, which starts next month. We have a challenging and exciting journey ahead to the Rugby World Cup, and we are all looking forward to giving our best in an attempt to defend our title.”

Kolisi and Bok squad are highly motivated

Kolisi was equally thrilled about this significant World Cup milestone and said he and his team-mates were highly motivated for the season and were working hard to prepare as well as possible for the event.

“It’s unbelievable to think that it was almost four years ago since we lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in Japan, and the players have been working hard to give us the best possible chance to defend our title,” he said.

“The memories of lifting the trophy and the emotional scenes of the fans waiting at the airport when we arrived home and lining the streets countrywide on our trophy tour were unforgettable moments.

“And while we know this World Cup is going to be extremely challenging, we would love to experience that again and give the people of our country something to smile about.

“We have 100 days to get everything in place for the competition, and we’ll give everything to ensure that we are ready both physically and mentally.”

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