Toyota Cheetahs prop Ox Nche has been added to the invited group of players for the final Springbok alignment camp, which starts in Durban on Sunday.
The former Junior Springbok front rower will join the 15 Cell C Sharks players at the third camp, from 22 to 25 April. The Springbok management are using the three alignment camps to accelerate preparations for the forthcoming international rugby season.
Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby, said the main reason why no such camp could be arranged for the Bloemfontein-based players is because the Toyota Cheetahs were already very busy with their Guinness PRO14 commitments.
“From a logistics point of view, their training, travelling and playing schedule made it very difficult for us to arrange a camp with those players,” said Erasmus.
“It is something that I discussed with Rory Duncan and he was happy that we invite only Ox to this camp, because having only one player missing from their squad for two days of a match week will not disrupt them that much.
“Other players from the Toyota Cheetahs, or from our other franchises, who play themselves into contention will be managed on a case by case basis. That could possibly mean working with such players on their off days for instance, depending also on the Toyota Cheetahs’ progress in the competition.”
No on-field activities are planned for the alignment camps and the focus of the various sessions is exclusively on alignment, which will ensure a smooth transition from the franchises to the Springboks when the squad gets together for the June internationals.
The updated group invited to the third Springbok alignment camp in Durban are:
Forwards: Ox Nche (Toyota Cheetahs), Tendai Mtawarira (prop), Coenie Oosthuizen (prop), Thomas du Toit (prop), Chiliboy Ralepelle (hooker), Akker van der Merwe (hooker), Jean-Luc du Preez (loose forward), Dan du Preez (loose forward).
Backs: Louis Schreuder (scumhalf), Cameron Wright (scrumhalf), Robert du Preez (flyhalf), André Esterhuizen (centre), Lukhanyo Am (centre), Lwazi Mvovo (wing), Sbu Nkosi (wing), Curwin Bosch (fullback).