Nienaber has one eye on RWC: 'France training camp nice opportunity to experience the conditions'

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South Africa's Jacques Nienaber
South Africa's Jacques Nienaber

The Springboks are excited to spend the week in France in preparation for their year-end Tests.

The South African and Japan-based Springboks arrived in Paris in two groups over the weekend, and will return to the training field on Monday where they will put the building blocks in place for Tests against Wales in Cardiff (6 November), Scotland in Edinburgh (13 November) and England in London (20 November).

The training camp will allow the world champions to experience France at the same time of the year the Rugby World Cup will be played in the country in 2023.

"The Rugby World Cup is still a far away, and there will be changes in the group and a few injuries, although about 80% of the group could be here then," national coach Jacques Nienaber told the official Springbok website.

"This week offers us a nice opportunity to experience the country and conditions this time of the year with an eye on the international spectacle."

Looking ahead to their three upcoming Tests, Nienaber said they were in a good space after a hectic period which included a series win over the British & Irish Lions and ending the Rugby Championship with a win over the All Blacks.

"Covid-19 presented different challenges in terms of the playing schedule because we usually play two games, have a bye and then play another two matches," said Nienaber.

"This season we went straight from the Test against Georgia into the Lions series and then we faced Argentina twice at home in the Rugby Championship before going into quarantine in Australia and playing four back-to-back Tests against Australia and New Zealand.

"So, it has been tough. Going into the season we also learned along the way how the Covid-19 pandemic and bio-bubbles will affect us, but we are now stronger as a group.

"We had to dig deep in the last Rugby Championship Test against New Zealand, but that said we could have won the first Test against New Zealand if I had made better substitutions and I feel we could have closed out the match better. Luckily in rugby one has an opportunity to bounce back each week.

"We had two weeks to see our families and children again, which was fantastic. But we were excited to get back on the plane and tour again because that’s what we love - playing rugby."

The Springbok players based in Europe will join up with their team-mates in Cardiff on Sunday.

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