Boks set to assemble for first time in 2023 for three-week camp

Boks set to assemble for first time in 2023 for three-week camp

The Springbok coaches, management and a group of 14 players will kick off the 2023 season with a three-week physical and rugby development camp in Cape Town.

The players will convene on Sunday in the first team activity of the year as the Boks gears up for a busy year set to culminate with the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France in September and October.

The 14 players who will assemble in the Mother City on Sunday afternoon are all players of national interest and who have been on a break from the United Rugby Championship competition in the last few weeks.

The full list of names was not revealed but they are locally-based Boks.

The camp will involve a series of off-field alignment sessions as well as on-field training sessions to prepare the players for the remainder of the season from a rugby and physical perspective.

The players will re-join their domestic franchises for the closing stages of the URC and Heineken Champions Cup competitions respectively.

"We are thrilled to get this important season going albeit with a small group of players as we look forward to the Rugby World Cup in less than seven months," said Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber.

"All of these players come off an important resting period, so the next three weeks will be crucial to ensure that they return to full-out rugby as effectively as possible and to get everyone aligned with our structures going into the World Cup year.

"Our first Rugby World Cup encounter against Scotland on Sunday, 10 September, is approaching fast, so we have to make the most of each day we have with the players."

Nienaber added: "Player management will be particularly important this season to get the squad to peak at the right time, while at the same time getting the desired results in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, our World Cup warm-up games and at the international showpiece as we attempt to defend our title."

SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus echoed Nienaber's sentiments.

"This is a massive year for the team, and we can't wait to get back into the swing of things with an eye on the World Cup.

"With the Vodacom URC on the go we only have a small bunch of players available to work with at this stage, but we know from past experience that every minute with the players on and off the field counts in a World Cup year.

"I would like to thank the franchises for their cooperation and assistance in ensuring that some of our key players could get the rest they needed physically and mentally as we enter this critical year for the team and the country.

"I would also like to thank MyPlayers for their role in making the break possible for the players."

The Springboks will kick off a bumper 2023 season against Australia in Pretoria on Saturday, 8 July, in the opening round of the shortened Rugby Championship.

That will be followed by clashes against New Zealand at the Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland a week later, and Argentina in Johannesburg on Saturday, 29 July.

In August, the Boks will travel to Buenos Aires to take on the Pumas before facing Wales and the All Blacks in Rugby World Cup warm-up matches in Cardiff and London in the final build-up to the global showpiece in France.

The Boks will launch their Rugby World Cup title defence on Sunday, 10 September, against Scotland in Marseille.