Allister Coetzee © Gallo Images
Springbok coach Allister Coetzee praised the attitude of the 41 players who attended the three-day training camp in Johannesburg and said he is pleased with the first steps that were taken in the important process to prepare the players for the 2017 international season.
The extended training squad excluded players from the Cell C Sharks and the Southern Kings, who played the past weekend in Australia and Singapore respectively, while the Emirates Lions’ players left the camp on Monday for their Vodacom Super Rugby match in Argentina this weekend.
It was the first of three camps in anticipation of the three-match Castle Lager Incoming Series against France in June.
Coetzee lauded the local franchises for their support to the Springbok cause during the Super Rugby competition.
“I think the camp was a big success and I want to especially thank the franchise coaches and CEOs for supporting us,” said Coetzee.
“The collaboration between all parties have been outstanding and it is a direct result of the successful outcome of the three coaching indabas.
“The players arrived in good condition, which shows they have been working hard according to their strength and conditioning programmes.”
The camp afforded Coetzee and his coaching staff important time with the players to discuss, among other things, the overall plan for the 2017 international season while good time was spent on the training field.
According to the Bok coach, the camps will also serve as an important part of the process to cast the national net wide as wide as possible.
“There were several new faces that attended a Springbok camp for the first time and the energy and enthusiasm was great to see,” said Coetzee.
“We will hold two similar camps in the next two months, and that will give us added opportunities to look at more new faces because the Vodacom Bulls players will for instance not be able to attend the Stellenbosch camp due to their Super Rugby travel commitments.”
DHL Stormers captain Siya Kolisi commented that it was great to be involved in the Bok setup again, even though it’s still early in the year and with Super Rugby in full swing.
“As a player it is always fantastic be involved in the Bok setup and this camp gave us also the chance to get to know some new faces,” said Kolisi, who missed a part of the 2016 test season because of an ankle injury.
“As players, we want to take responsibility and contribute towards making the Springboks successful again.
“Although we come from different franchises and compete against each other in Super Rugby, we quickly settled in once we started to discuss the Springbok plan for the international season.”