After a long and complex buildup, the Springboks will be ready to face the British & Irish Lions.CRAIG LEWIS.
Boks aim to tame Lions in a new issue
Rassie Erasmus made an unusual statement a few weeks back.
First, an article written by an international journalist caught the attention of global rugby fans. It questioned the Springboks’ reputation as the greatest Test team and the preparation they made for the British & Irish Lions series.
The New Zealand writer wrote that while they were rightfully World Cup winners, this Springboks era hasn’t proven to be anything other than a great side. They won the World Cup using a useful schedule. The Springboks have avoided competition since the World Cup and tried to hide, pretending that they are the greatest team in the world. Instead of challenging the notion with bold 2020 campaigns span>
These were words that, understandably, would have sent South African supporters and those at the Bok camp reeling.
The shots were fired. However, the writer continued: “You can argue that the Springboks’ preparations are as bad or worse than those for 2020 for Rugby Championship. Yet, there is very little likelihood they will pull out because of concerns about player welfare in Test rugby. It’s not going to be easy, but the Lions’ experienced players will have had more difficult opponents. .”
It’s common for media members to use emotive, opinion-based weapons that aim at attracting maximum attention. These people will often take the easy way out and not bother to reply.
Erasmus, however, has done things differently. The South African director for rugby stepped out of the trenches in intense preparation to face the British & Irish Lions.
Responding to criticisms of the over- 1300 word article, Bok boss took to Twitter to address the matter: “This always made me feel good: A lion does not care about the opinions and feelings of sheep.”
Erasmus knows that all this is just a sideshow. The Springbok coaches worked for months to ensure that the troops were ready for the much-anticipated Lions series.
This has been an extremely difficult road. Erasmus began to look towards the Lions challenge immediately after the Springboks won the World Cup final. He stated that there were only 600 days before the British and Irish Lions arrived in South Africa for their tour.
Despite being a well-established group, Springbok management and squad haven’t been together since the World Cup after parties.
Francois Louw, Schalk Brits, and Beast Mtawarira have all since retired. Forwards coach Matt Proudfoot has switched to England. Aled Walters, a highly-respected head of athletic performance, was also forced to leave due to the challenges posed by the pandemic. __S.31__
Andy Edwards is now the Saracens strength & conditioning coach. Deon Davids (assistant coaches) and Daan Human, (scrum coach), are other members of the Bok coaching team.
This will be a momentous occasion for Jacques Nienaber who is now the head coach. Nienaber never imagined his first game of significant in the top coaching job against the Lions. But the 48-year old tells SA Rugby magazine that he’s in his element.
When I began our interview, Nienaber answered my question with a clear and concise answer: “I’m busy, good, really busy.” It’s great, I love it,” he said with an almost tangible excitement.
This is a huge opportunity for me – it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for both me and the players. In 2033, the next chance to host a British & Irish Lions Tour is available. Frans Steyn is the only player in the south who has the chance to play twice against them; others never get the privilege.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to play against Lions, and it’s for me an amazing privilege. This is a huge occasion. They would have been played anywhere, even in Dubai or the UK. We were ready to do everything to make it happen. It is an incredible opportunity and we are so happy that it’s happening. This is the second most difficult challenge any person will face .”
Time is of the essence. The April alignment camp and preliminary preparation camps set clear expectations for players in the national frame. Some talks were held in person while others were done online.
Nienaber states that the main message we tried to convey in our first alignment camps was to give them a schedule. It was an honest assessment of our current situation. That’s what I mean for the entire organisation. The question was, “Hear! How are you doing?” It was a case of, “Hear, how are you doing?” in the high-performance areas such as strategy, gameplan, ownership, and discipline.
Where are we in player recruitment? It was not just about a player-based reality test, but it covered all aspects of the process, even from a medical standpoint. The eight most critical areas were covered by the players, with management taking care of the rest span>
This was in line with the Boks’ business practices, which have been primarily focused on internal preparations. __S.55__
Springbok coaches are working with a large group of players. They have all had different entry points into camp. Local players from across the country have gathered at various stages while stars from overseas filtered back after the conclusion of the northern hemisphere competition. __S.57__
I It stands to reason the Boks operate with a larger group of players and that a split-squad system will be in use at some point during this year.
Nienaber states, “When we confirmed the Lions Series schedule and venues, it gave us that line in the sand.” __S.60__
We knew the dates that certain players would begin entering our camps and we were able to plan what content. We might only have six players from Japan in week 1, while we may also have some players who will be available in week 2. If the squad was only around 15 players, the contents of week two might have been different to the first .”
The Springbok management has been working with an enhanced ‘alignment squad’ that includes exciting newcomers like Jasper Wiese and Joseph Dweba as well as Rosko Specman, Rosko Specman, and Nicolaas van Rensburg. However, the core team of World Cup-winning players remains intact. __S.65__
There is no reason to think that the Springboks’ starting XV for the match against the British & Irish Lions will be any different from the one used in the World Cup final 2019. Erasmus and Nienaber, despite having not played any international rugby since last year’s World Cup final will be able to tell exactly what to expect from the available players.
Because we are limited in time, it is difficult to make the most of every second and remain as precise as possible. Your messages should be concise, which is why Nienaber suggests simplifying.
There are many “ifs”, but if they’re up for it and in good physical condition, that will be invaluable. Although there are many “ifs”, players have an excellent understanding of the Springbok camp span.
This squad is sure to benefit from their familiarity, intellectual property from 2018 and 2019, and continuity of selections from the World Cup.
The Springboks are unlikely to depart from their gameplans and strategies which served them well in the tournament.
Erasmus, Nienaber have always had a few tricks up their sleeves. From midfield mauls and carefully planned set plays to identifying’souls’ of opposition players, it is these small innovations that can make all the difference against Lions.
Just in case they need more motivation, one article might be left in the office to remind them that there is more to life than just proving a point.
Publiated Mon, 19 July 2021 at 08:34.43 (+0000).