Boks bring in Jaco Peyper to help with law interpretations

Boks bring in Jaco Peyper to help with law interpretations

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber revealed on Wednesday that South Africa's leading referee, Jaco Peyper, is assisting them in their interpretation of the laws of the game.

Peyper is helping the Boks after retired Welsh referee Nigel Owens turned down a request from South Africa's director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus, to help the Springboks ahead of the World Cup.

"One of the additions to our camp this week is that we brought in Jaco Peyper to assist us to keep up to date with the laws of the game, so know we are on the right track," said Nienaber.

The Bok coach also revealed that he is planning to split his squad of players for the first two Tests of their upcoming Rugby Championship campaign.

It means that the Boks will repeat a tactic they used in 2019 when they won the tournament.

This will see several players and management members fly out to Auckland the week of the opening Rugby Championship Test against the Wallabies at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday, July 8.

By doing that the group in New Zealand will acclimatise and start their preparations for the second Test, which will be against the All Blacks at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday, July 15.

Following that fixture, the Boks will return to South Africa for their third and final Test of the truncated version of the competition against Los Pumas at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Saturday, July 29.

"We have a pretty good idea about how we want to split the squad for the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, but a lot needs to happen before we make a call on selection," said Nienaber.

"We'll probably make a decision the week before the Australia Test. As we mentioned last week, we are not selecting A and B sides. We are doing something similar to what we did in 2019 by selecting a team that is good enough to beat Australia at Loftus Versfeld."

Nienaber and Erasmus are also happy to have veteran playmaker Elton Jantjies back in the squad and said his experience is valuable for the Boks.

"A big benefit of having Elton in the squad is that there is no rush for Handre (Pollard) and Damian (Willemse) to hurry their injuries," said Erasmus.

"They can take their time and heal properly. That said, there's a good chance that Damian will be cleared (medically) next week.

"Elton has close to 50 Test caps and in 2020 he was named SANZAAR's South African Super Rugby Player of the Decade, so there isn't much he still has to learn. He also helps the young players on the field, so he's a valuable player."

With the Boks entering the second week of their Rugby Championship training camp, Nienaber is delighted with the atmosphere in the squad.

"The energy in the squad is good and the players are working hard to build on the foundation we laid last week," he said. "We still have a lot of work to do, but we are on a good trajectory."