Brightest Rugby Prospects Benefit From Bok-camp Insights

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The Castle Lager Springbok Showdown presented the national coaching staff with a much-needed opportunity to work with an extended group of players which saw some of the country’s brightest young talent rub shoulders with experienced Rugby World Cup winners.

“A number of players in this game came into the Springbok set-up as rookies earlier in their careers – guys such as Siya Kolisi, Frans Steyn and Elton Jantjies, to name a few – and they have mentioned the positive effect working with experienced players as youngsters had on their rugby careers,” said Nienaber.

“The young ones and new players in both camps brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm into the mix because they were super excited to be involved and to learn and absorb whatever was happening around them. So, from that point of view, it was definitely a very worthwhile exercise.

“Now they have a real taste of what the Bok environment looks and feels like. Although the match was not a spectacle, I think especially the young ones will look back with lots of good memories and we hope they return to their franchise teams eager to implement what they’ve learn.”

Apart from participating in the training and technical sessions, players in both squads who were not yet exposed to the international environment were able to mix with experienced Springboks such as Siya Kolisi, Duane Vermeulen, Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff, Frans Steyn and Lukhanyo Am.

“One of the other big benefits of the week was to see our current Springboks sharing their experience and knowledge of the successful RWC campaign,” said Nienaber.

“Looking back at the game preparations and the match itself, I think we will definitely reap some rewards in the future.

“It was obviously very good to have the local players back in a Bok environment after such long layoff because of the pandemic. The main objective was to put players under pressure so we can see how they perform in Test-match like conditions.”