Boks take part in training camp ahead of Castle tour

2014-10-25 00:00

THE Springboks concluded a week of intense training at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport yesterday as their preparations for the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour to Ireland, England, Italy and Wales stepped up a gear.

A total of 31 players took part in the training camp after prop Marcel van der Merwe withdrew due to injury.

Among the squad were four uncapped players in Lizo Gqoboka (prop), Bongi Mbonambi (hooker), Boela Abrahams (scrumhalf) and Rudy Paige (scrumhalf), who were invited to get a taste of what Springbok rugby is all about after impressive performances for their provinces in the Currie Cup.

“We had a good week and the players worked hard on the field and in the gym,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. “The emphasis was on conditioning, and we also paid a lot of attention to detail on and off the field.

“I’m looking forward to the tour and it will be good to have an extended run in the type of conditions we could expect at the Rugby World Cup next year.”

Meyer added that the touring squad of 36 players will be finalised over the weekend.“There are a number of players who are not available because of injury, but I’m confident we’ll be able to select a strong squad,” he said.

Players from Western Province and the Golden Lions will also come into the selection frame, although they were not considered for the training camp due to the Currie Cup final.

Apart from Van der Merwe, the following Springboks and players will not be considered for selection due to injury: Fourie du Preez, Schalk Brits, Callie Visagie, Frans Malherbe, Flip van der Merwe, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Francois Louw, Siya Kolisi, Arno Botha, Pierre Spies and Willem Alberts.

Several coaches and officials from other teams were invited to be part of the training camp. They included Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell and his management team, the Junior Springboks’ Dawie Theron and Warren Adams, Renfred Dazel of the Springbok Women’s Sevens team, Peter Engledow (Griquas), Willem Oliphant (president of Despatch), Brent Janse van Rensburg (Grey High School, PE), and Jaco Koch and Jan-Hendrik Hattingh (Affies).

Coaches and team management from Boland and Stellenbosch University also attended some sessions.

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