The South African national rugby team, the Springboks, are preparing for the upcoming 2023 international season. The team is gearing up for two preparation camps in Durban, aimed at establishing their on-and-off-field structures.
The Springboks are set to gather in Durban for two preparation camps in May. The first camp will run from 17th to 19th May, followed by a second session from 29th to 31st May. The objective of these camps is to lay the foundation for the upcoming international season.
Fifteen players have received invitations to the camps; however, the lineup does not include the Stormers, who are preoccupied with preparing for the Vodacom United Rugby Championship (URC) semi-final. The selected players for the camps comprise a mix of local Vodacom URC participants, some who are recovering from injuries, and a few Japanese-based players who have fulfilled their club commitments. More locally-selected players may join after completing their Vodacom URC obligations.
Official Preparations for the Rugby Championship
After the Durban camps, the Springboks’ official preparations for the Rugby Championship will commence at a training camp in Pretoria from 12th to 30th June. The team will then transition into Test-match mode, kicking off the southern hemisphere showpiece with a game against Australia at Loftus Versfeld on 8th July.
Led by Coach Jacques Nienaber, the Springboks will subsequently depart for their second Test match in New Zealand, where they will face the All Blacks at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland on 15th July. The final match of the competition is set to take place on 29th July in Johannesburg against Argentina.
Importance of the Camps
Nienaber emphasizes the importance of these camps in laying the groundwork for the first full-on training camp in June, followed by the Rugby Championship in July. He acknowledges that with only four months left before the World Cup, every day with the players is crucial.
The Springboks’ 2023 calendar includes Rugby Championship matches, Rugby World Cup (RWC) warm-up fixtures, and RWC matches. The team must make significant progress in each game to maximize their chances of defending their title in France.
The invited players for the May camps include Lukhanyo Am, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Thomas du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Jaden Hendrikse, Siya Kolisi, Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi, Bongi Mbonambi, Canan Moodie, Ox Nche, Kwagga Smith, Marco van Staden, and Grant Williams. These players will form the core of the squad as they prepare for an intense international season, aiming to make their mark on the world stage.