Springboks

Nyakane relaxed on Bok prep as Rainbow Cup doubts bite: 'You play the cards you're dealt'

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Trevor Nyakane. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)
Trevor Nyakane. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)
  • Trevor Nyakane is philosophical over the quality of the Springbok's preparations before the Lions tour, saying it's a case of using the cards you're dealt with.
  • The star Bulls prop believes the key is to utilise any match - whether it's Rainbow Cup or not - to get ready for the high-profile series.
  • Last week's Springbok alignment engagements have reminded players like Nyakane "what you're capable of".

The Springboks will have to take what they can get in preparation for this year's series against the British & Irish Lions.

That's the candid view of influential tighthead Trevor Nyakane as the national setup contemplate a build-up to the tour that won't feature a Rainbow Cup.

"You have to play the cards that you're dealt with," said Nyakane, a 42-Test stalwart.

"There have been a lot of things happening with regards to the pandemic and there's been a lot of adjustments that we as players and coaches have had to make.

"This simply is another challenge that we're going to have to face."

READ | Stormers training 'full on' despite uncertainty over Rainbow Cup

The 31-year-old was still speaking under the assumption that the Rainbow Cup, a tournament designed to keep players match fit and build some hype for the upcoming PRO16, will still be happening - though he certainly sounded like a man preparing for potential bad news on that front.

SA Rugby and their PRO Rugby counterparts are reportedly going to announce later on Wednesday that SA teams will only start their campaigns from next weekend.

"For us, it's just about preparing as well as you can. There's nothing else you can do," he said.

"It's about making sure that if you do get the chance to prepare South Africa in (the Lions) series, you have to be ready to go. Obviously, any games we're going to play from now are going to be very important to us in terms of match fitness.

"Everyone is willing to work as hard as they can. It's not ideal not playing many games, but we take it as it comes."

Some of the monotony - so to speak - was broken just that little bit last week when Nyakane and various team-mates attended the Springbok alignment camps, allowing for much-needed engagement with the national coaching staff.

The Boks haven't played competitively since 2019's World Cup final.

"It was good," said Nyakane.

"There was a lot of information that was enlightening. We don't have much time to go on bigger camps, but these sessions are valuable. It was awesome just to be part of a small group and see what's expected of us. The unions and Springboks are working together to do this thing properly."

Current feedback, however, is confined to broader trends rather than individual insights.

"We talked more about things in general, but there are a few clips the coaches send you and discuss what standards are required and, importantly, examples of what you as player are capable of. 

"It's about putting you back in the mindset of reminding you what you can do and what you need to work on."

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