- Springbok manager Jacques Nienaber says they are looking forward to tackling their title defense 500 days before Rugby World Cup 2023.
- Nienaber adds that the Boks are ready to make the most of 2022 ahead of the tournament in France.
- The Springboks are in for a record season with three Tests against Wales and the Rugby Championship.
Springbok manager Jacques Nienaber says preparations for the 2023 Rugby World Cup have begun as they prepare to defend their title in France.
Tuesday marked 500 days until the start of next year’s Rugby World Cup and the Bok mentor was already excited.
South Africa will compete in Pool B alongside Ireland, Scotland and Spain plus a qualifying team to be determined.
Nienaber, who served as assistant coach at the triumphant 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, said the milestone date sparked a lot of excitement.
“We’ve been counting down the days for a while but the 500 day mark until the Rugby World Cup serves as a real reality check from a preparation perspective,” said Nienaber.
“We have a limited number of friendlies before the international spectacle and we need to make sure we make the best of each of them and learn as many lessons as possible so that we can put the necessary structures and systems in place before we go to France.”
The springbok will be based in Toulon for most of the pool phase of the competition and Nienaber emphasized the importance of setting up their structures.
“Toulon is a beautiful city with world-class facilities, but there are also enough recreational opportunities for the players, which will be crucial in creating the mental balance they need to perform at their best,” said Nienaber.
“Next year we will play Ireland for the first time at the Rugby World Cup, while we played England in 2015 and Scotland in 1999 when we were also in the same group as Spain and we’re looking forward to it as a group.”
The Springboks will begin their 2022 season when they face Wales in three Tests from July 2-16.
This will be followed by the first two rounds of the Rugby Championship from August 2-13, when the Boks take on the All Blacks in back-to-back home tests ahead of their tour of Australia and Argentina.
The first of their two alignment camps was held in Durban earlier this month, with the second camp scheduled for May 1-5 in Cape Town.
Nienaber and his coaching staff have been working hard behind the scenes to prepare for the international season.
“It was wonderful to see the players buying into our processes at the first alignment camp a few weeks ago and we hope to build on that at our next camp,” said Nienaber.
“The international season is fast approaching. So the sooner we get players and management aligned in terms of our structures, the easier it will be when we go out on the pitch in our first training camp ahead of the July tests.”
The Springboks schedule for 2022:
2 July – First Test against Wales in Pretoria
9 July – Second Test against Wales in Bloemfontein
16 July – Third test against Wales in Cape Town
6 August – Rugby Championship test against New Zealand in Nelspruit
13 August – Rugby Championship Test against New Zealand in Johannesburg
27 August – Rugby Championship Test v Australia (TBC Venue)
3 September – Rugby Championship Test v Australia (venue TBC)
17 September – Rugby Championship Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires
24 September – Rugby Championship Test against Argentina in Durban
Bok coach: ‘500 days to Rugby World Cup serves as a real reality check’
Source link Bok coach: ‘500 days to Rugby World Cup serves as a real reality check’