Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Springboks forced to get ‘creative’ in training until rest of squad join

The Boks will get a boost with a large influx of players from the Stormers and Bulls after this weekend’s URC final.

The Springbok management team are getting creative in the on-going training camp, as the squad start to shift into higher gears ahead of the coming international season.

Currently 16 of the 43 member Springbok squad are in camp in Pretoria, with these players having come from the Sharks and Japan, while the Stormers and Bulls, as well as the English and France based Boks, are all still involved in their various club competitions.

The Boks will get a boost with a large influx of players from the Stormers and Bulls after this weekend’s United Rugby Championship final, while the other overseas Boks will probably only join up after next weekend.

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“We have to be quite creative with the guys who are currently with us in terms of running training sessions. We have 16 players and in certain positions we don’t have any players. We have props filling in as locks and locks filling in as loose forwards,” explained Bok coach Jacques Nienaber.

“So we are being as creative as possible. With only 16 players it is tough to have opposition against us. The Bulls (who are based in Pretoria as well) are in the URC final and the Currie Cup semis so those two teams are occupied.

“But Wessel (Roux, Bulls junior coach) has worked closely with us and has been getting some club guys in. So we have had opposition to train against … we are trying to be as creative as possible, to get as close to match intensity as we can.”

Returning Welsh star

Looking ahead to the Welsh series starting in early July, the Boks will be facing a returning star in try scoring machine George North, who has fully recovered from his injury problems and will be raring to go against the Boks.

“George is a phenomenal player. In the World Cup in 2019 he was massive for Wales. He is physical, strong, and has such good attributes. They can play him at wing or 13 and he has massive experience,” said Nienaber.

“He’s been playing international rugby since he was 18-years-old and that just speaks volumes of the quality of the man. So it is going to be a nice challenge for us.”

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