Kitsie calms fears on Boks' relentless schedule and burnout: 'It's about compartmentalising'

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  • Springbok stalwart Steven Kitshoff is philosophical about some of the national players' relentless schedules.
  • With the URC and Rugby Championship overlapping, various stars aren't afforded meaningful breaks of pre-seasons. 
  • But Kitshoff says compartmentalising assignments helps keep his body and mind fresh.

Steven Kitshoff has downplayed fears that locally- and European-based Springboks are facing burnout because of their relentless playing schedules.

South Africa's continued involvement in the Rugby Championship - for now at least until 2025 - means that the calendar isn't fully synchronised with the URC and the European Champions and Challenge Cups, specifically in terms of the players not enjoying proper pre-seasons.

Yet the flame-haired stalwart is philosophical about the current complexion of the season.

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"Yeah, with the way the URC is structured, I suppose [there will be questions about our workloads]," Kitshoff said, ahead of another high octane clash with the All Blacks at Ellis Park on Saturday.

"It means franchise and international season flow into each other."

However, there's still a relatively prominent element of compartmentalisation to those assignments, which means Kitshoff keeps himself switched on by focusing on each assignment in isolation.

"For me, I just try to take each competition on its own," said the prop.

"When we finished with the URC campaign at the Stormers, the Wales Test series started and now you have the Rugby Championship. In a way, I try to view each of those assignments as a milestone and challenge on its own.

"You individualise it and get excited for it independently. Every competition is different."

Naturally, the continued allure and consequent pride at representing one's country is enough for Kitshoff to overshadow any jadedness.

"That's what keeps me mentally in tune. It keeps the fire burning," he said.

"Just representing South Africa on the international stage is what gets me up in the morning and going to the gym at 7 in the morning and then going full-out at training."

Kick-off is at 17:05.

Teams:

South Africa

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Jesse Kriel, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Willie le Roux 

New Zealand

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 David Havili, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Aaron Smith 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Shannon Frizell 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Samson Taukei'aho, 1 Ethan de Groot

Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 George Bower, 18 Fletcher Newell, 19 Tupou Vaa'i, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Quinn Tupaea

  
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