Rassie Erasmus’ Springbok preparations hit a snag ahead of first 2024 Test

David Skippers
Rassie Erasmus SA v Scotland 2021 - PA.jpg

Springboks head coach Rassie Erasmus.

Springboks head coach Rassie Erasmus has been forced to make an adjustment to his plans for the world champions’ second alignment camp of 2024 due to uncertainty around the availability of players for their Test against Wales in June.

Sunday newspaper Rapport reports that the Springboks’ team manager, Charles Wessels, informed South Africa’s leading franchises of the change in plans via a letter.

Initially, the alignment camp, which is the second one of the year – after the first one was held during the first week of March – was to be held over three days but it has now been changed to a virtual one-day session which will take place on Friday, May 3.

Uncertainty over South African-based players

That was confirmed in Wessels’ letter, and the change was made due to Erasmus being unsure about which South African-based players for the Test against Wales, which will be played at Twickenham on Saturday, June 22.

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The Stormers, Bulls and Lions are all still in the hunt to reach the United Rugby Championship play-offs, and that tournament’s final is also scheduled to take place on the day of the South Africa v Wales Test.

Meanwhile, the Sharks are facing Clermont Auvergne in their Challenge Cup semi-final in London on Saturday, May 4, which means their Springbok would not have been available to attend the Bok alignment camp.

An inside source told Rapport that Erasmus believed it was pointless to invite so many players to the second alignment camp to compensate for the uncertainty, so he felt it was more logical to hold an online session with more players.

Springboks’ June/July fixtures

Saturday, 22 June: Springboks vs Wales (Twickenham, London)
Saturday, 6 July: Springboks vs Ireland (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
Saturday, 13 July: Springboks vs Ireland (Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban)
Saturday, 20 July: Springboks vs Portugal (Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein

READ MORE: Springboks to face every home nation in 2024 with November Tests officially confirmed