Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Compiled by Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport

WATCH: Lukhanyo Am back in Bok mix as squad returns to training

Assistant coach Felix Jones said Wednesday as the team returned to the training field they'd monitor the centre over the coming days.

The Springboks returned to the training field on Wednesday after getting two days off to freshen up and recuperate following their win against Tonga in their final pool game in Marseille on Sunday at the Rugby World Cup in France.

Right now the Boks top Pool B with 15 points, but second-placed Ireland (14) and third-placed Scotland (10) clash in their final matches on Saturday, while Tonga and Romania also face off.

While the Boks are sitting pretty and look set to qualify for the quarter-finals — where they will face either France or New Zealand — they are not yet guaranteed of progressing as everything will come down to the result of the Ireland versus Scotland match.

The Boks though are back at work, preparing for a big playoff game nonetheless.

‘Bank on his experience’

And joining them on Wednesday, for the first time since arriving in France several weeks ago, was Lukhanyo Am, who has replaced the injured Makazole Mapimpi in the Bok squad.

Assistant coach Felix Jones said the team management would keep a close eye on the 2019 World Cup winner over the next few days, following his recovery from a knee injury.

“Lukhanyo arrived on Wednesday and did some light field work with us, so we’ll see how he goes in the next few days,” said Jones.

“He’s an experienced player and he’s been part of the group for many years, so we’ll bank on his experience and his ability to do the job for us.”

Normal Test week

Jones said although the team won’t be playing a match this week as the Boks have a bye their training programme was similar to a normal Test-match week.

“The boys had two days off after the last Test, so it was just an extra day off, otherwise it’s a normal week,” Jones explained.

“We’ll have three days of training, but because we are not playing this weekend, we can perhaps push some things a little harder and pull back in certain areas.”

Jones admitted that while their Rugby World Cup fate was out of their hands, there was a strong chance the team could make it through to the top eight and said they were preparing as such.

“We have to improve to keep progressing in the tournament, especially if you consider the opposition teams coming up,” said Jones.

“There are no easy games, and any match can be determined by one point, a missed tackle, a missed lineout, or a pass. So, there isn’t only one area to improve on when you know you’ll come up against teams ranked in the top six in the world.”