Springboks: Cancelled flight delays departure for Australia tour

Dylan Coetzee

South Africa forwards huddle during the 2022 Castle Lager Rugby Championship match between South Africa and New Zealand held at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on 13 August 2022 ©Shaun Roy/Sports Inc

The Springboks were unable to leave South Africa for Australia on Thursday as planned after their flight was grounded due to complications with the flight crew.

Jacques Nienaber and his men will fly to Adelaide on Friday, where they will play the first of two Tests in Australia. There is a lot to play for as the Rugby Championship is neck and neck, with all teams registering one win in the opening two rounds.

“Solutions-driven team”

The Springboks head coach believes that the travel complications aren’t a threat to his side’s preparation and claims the team is based on finding solutions.

“We are a solution-driven team and we will not gain anything by allowing unforeseen circumstances such as this to derail our plans,” Nienaber said.

“The coaches and conditioning staff have already adapted our training programme to suit our delayed arrival in Australia and we will get back down to business as soon as possible when we arrive Down Under.”

Nienaber was unconcerned as there is a strong alignment between the players, and everyone knows what needs to happen to get back to winning ways in the Rugby Championship.

“Fortunately this group of players have been together all season and they know our game plan and what we need to do to get our Castle Lager Rugby Championship campaign back on track, and that is our sole focus at this point,” he added.

“We lost a little preparation and travel recovery time, but we have a massive task ahead of us, so we will do everything possible to adapt to the conditions and time zone as quickly as possible once we arrive in Australia and return to the training field.”

Australia hoodoo

The Springboks will have to contend with their poor record on Australian soil in recent times, with their last win Down Under coming in 2013.

Since the 38-12 win in Brisbane nine years ago, South Africa has lost to the Wallabies seven times in Australia, including two defeats last year when Dave Rennie’s men put the world champions away brilliantly.

Nienaber will be conscious of this and hoping to capitalise on the Wallabies’ injury crisis, and their poor form as Rennie’s side is coming off a record 48-17 loss to Argentina last time out.

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