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Rassie To Name New Bok Skipper

  • June 14, 2024
  • 3 min read
Rassie To Name New Bok Skipper

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus expressed satisfaction with the first week of the national training camp in Pretoria. He believes the team has established a solid foundation for the upcoming international season opener against Wales at Twickenham next Saturday.

Erasmus was particularly impressed with the new players’ work ethic and seamless integration into the squad.

“It has been an extremely productive week on the field, and we are pleased with the quality of our training sessions and the manner in which the new players have grasped our systems and slotted in at training,” said Erasmus. 

“It was also fantastic to see how the more experienced players took them under their wing and assisted them during training. 

“The DHL Stormers players arrived on Wednesday, and they also immediately made their presence felt at training. 

“The alignment camps hosted earlier in the season were invaluable in allowing the players to familiarise themselves with our structures and it was good to see how things came together on the field after all the off-field sessions we held at the in-person and online sessions in March and May respectively.” 

He commended the experienced players for mentoring the newcomers: “It was fantastic to see the senior guys taking them under their wing and offering support during training.”

The DHL Stormers players, who arrived midweek, also made a positive impact on training. Erasmus highlighted the value of the earlier alignment camps: “Those sessions were crucial for familiarizing the players with our structures. It was rewarding to witness everything come together on the field after the virtual and in-person sessions held in March and May.”

Erasmus emphasized the team’s strong position due to the balanced mix of youth and experience. He anticipates selecting a competitive squad for the Wales test. While some youngsters might see game time, the primary focus is to kick off the new era with a winning performance and set the tone for the Castle Lager Incoming Series against Ireland starting 6 July in Pretoria.

Springboks Eye New Captain

With Siya Kolisi unavailable for the Wales test due to scheduling conflicts, Erasmus must appoint a new captain. Frontrunners for the role include Malcolm Marx, Eben Etzebeth, Bongi Mbonambi, and Pieter-Steph du Toit.

“We’ll name a new captain for this match, with experienced players like Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit, and Bongi Mbonambi being strong options,” Erasmus said. “The permanent captain for the season will be chosen before the Castle Lager Incoming Series.”

Erasmus Wishes Bulls Luck

Erasmus wished the Vodacom Bulls the best of luck in their upcoming Vodacom United Rugby Championship semi-final against Leinster. “The Bulls have had a fantastic season,” he said, “We’d love to see them take another step forward and reach the final.”

While acknowledging Leinster’s strength and the potential for a close encounter, Erasmus believes a Bulls victory would benefit both the team’s players and South African rugby as a whole. The national coaches will have to wait an extra week to select Bulls players if they advance to the final. However, they are prepared to draft in a few players next week if the Bulls are eliminated.

The team to face Wales will be announced on Tuesday, with the squad departing for London on Wednesday night.

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