July 19, 2024

Rassie plans to blood a few youngsters against Wales

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus was pleased with the bedrock laid at the first week of the national training camp in Pretoria and was satisfied that they have a solid base to build from as the squad prepares to face Wales in the opening Test of the season at Twickenham next week Saturday.

Erasmus was pleased with the work rate by the new players in the group and the way they integrated into the squad and said this would set the team in good stead for the international season ahead.

“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.”

Erasmus added: “With a good balance of youth and experience in the squad we will be in a good position to select a quality squad for the Wales Test, and although we plan to blood a few youngsters next week, we are determined to kick-start the season under this new era on a good note and set a strong tone for the Castle Lager Incoming Series, which kicks off against Ireland in Pretoria on Saturday 6 July.

“Obviously with Siya Kolisi not available for selection, we will select a new captain for this match, but we have a good group of experienced players in the likes of Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Bongi Mbonambi as options for the captaincy next week.

“We will then select a captain for the season before the Castle Lager Incoming season.”

Erasmus also wished the Vodacom Bulls luck for their Vodacom United Rugby Championship semi-final against Leinster on Saturday saying: “The Bulls have performed very well this season, and we would like to see them take another step up this weekend and advance to the final.

“Leinster are a quality team, so it will be a tight encounter, but it will bode well for their players and South African rugby to see the Bulls advance to the final, and we are fully behind them this weekend.”

Should the Pretoria outfit make it to the Vodacom URC grand final, the national coaches will have to wait an extra week to draft their players in contention for selection into the squad, however, the coaches are on stand-by to draft in a few players next week should the result go against SA’s last standing domestic team in the competition.

The team to face Wales will be announced on Tuesday, with the team selected for the match set to depart for London on Wednesday night.

SOURCE: SA RUGBY

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