The extended Springbok squad continued with their pre-season training on Monday in Stellenbosch in the build-up to the forthcoming international season, when South Africa will host France in the three-match Castle Lager Incoming Series.
The Boks got together on Sunday afternoon for the second of three pre-season training camps. With Brendan Venter having joined the management team in a coaching consultant capacity, training activities on the second day of the camp were focused on defence and scrums.
DHL Stormers scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage was called up in place of his provincial team-mate Jano Vermaak, who was injured on Saturday.
Also present at the Monday afternoon field session at the Paul Roos Markötter Stadium were a couple of additional invited DHL Stormers players, who were roped in after a number of other players were ruled out of taking contact because of various niggles. They are Cheslin Kolbe (wing / fullback), Dan Kriel (centre), Ramone Samuels (hooker), JC Janse van Rensburg (loosehead prop), Nizaam Carr and Sikhumbuzo Notshe (both loose forwards).
Only 25 of the invited 41 players were able to participate in the late afternoon training session. However all players took part in the various technical sessions and the coaching staff’s tactical discussions.
Speaking at a media briefing earlier on Monday at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport, Springbok coach Allister Coetzee expressed his delight at the current performances of local Vodacom Super Rugby franchises.
“There is a nice variation of play, good intensity because of their conditioning and a good display of skills,” said Coetzee.
“During the first camp in Johannesburg our main focus was on attack and lineout play, and during this camp our specific focus will be on defence, exit play and our scrums.”
Regarding the composition of the large training group, the Bok coach reiterated that he will cast the selection net as wide as possible before the announcement of the Springbok squad for the Castle Lager Incoming Series against France in June.
“The door is still open to players who weren’t selected so far for the two camps,” said Coetzee.
“There are many players who weren’t invited to the first camp, but who are here now after playing consistently well to force their way into the extended group, and there will be others who will be invited to the third camp who are not here now.”
The camp concludes on Tuesday morning.