Rassie Erasmus pleased with foundation laid at Bok alignment camp

Rassie Erasmus pleased with foundation laid at Bok alignment camp

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus was pleased with the foundation laid at the national team's second in-person alignment in Cape Town on Wednesday and Thursday.

The World Cup-winning coach believed the camp set a good tone for the season ahead.

A group of 38 players attended the camp â- which followed the first alignment camp in Cape Town in March and a series of online alignment sessions earlier in May.

The players participated in a series of gym and off-field strategy sessions presented by the coaching staff to familiarise themselves with the structures the team plans to implement this season.

"This camp was extremely valuable in exposing the players to detailed aspects of the game which we would like to implement this season," said Erasmus.

"At the first two alignment camps we adopted a broader view of what the coaching staff will look at when it comes to team selection and to introduce the players to the coaches and their ideas, and especially the new members of the coaching team in Tony Brown and Jerry Flannery and national laws advisor Jaco Peyper.

"With our first Test less than a month away, it was vital that we started introducing the players to our new systems, so that they have sufficient time to familiarise themselves with these structures as we plan to select the group of players for the Wales Test and Castle Lager Incoming Series."

Erasmus added: "It was great to see the enthusiasm among the players and witness first-hand how they soaked in everything in as they attempt to stake a claim for places in the national team, and we believe this will set us in good stead as a squad for the upcoming season.

"As a coaching team this camp allowed us to get a better understanding of the players and their skills to give them enough detail to work on in the next few weeks before we gather for the first official training camp which will be hosted in June."

Players from the Sharks who are playing in the EPCR Challenge Cup final against Gloucester at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Friday night were excused from the camp.

The double Rugby World Cup champions will kick off their 2024 international season against Wales on Saturday 22 June, which will be followed by the Castle Lager Incoming Series which features back-to-back Test matches against the second-ranked Ireland in Pretoria and Durban respectively (on 6 and 13 July) and a historic first ever Test against Portugal in Bloemfontein (20 July).

The Springboks will gather in Pretoria on Sunday 9 June to begin their on-field preparations for the season, with the Test squad for the Wales match set to be named soon after the conclusion of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship quarter-finals on Saturday 8 June.

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