Frans Steyn on the run during a Springbok practice in Plettenberg Bay this week. Photo: @Springboks

JOHANNESBURG – The Springboks wrapped up their week-long camp in Plettenberg Bay on Saturday with a crash course in the technical aspects of the laws of the game.

The Boks spent the week at the coast preparing for the three Test series against France, starting this weekend with the first Test in Pretoria.

International referee Jaco Peyper was a visitor to the camp during the week, something new skipper Warren Whiteley said was hugely beneficial to the players.

“Jaco is a very experienced and well-respected international referee, and for us as players, it was a rare chance to spend quality time with him and to gain insight from his experience as a world-class referee,” explained Whiteley.

“We covered a lot of important technical detail with him, and we as players really enjoyed the interaction. We know he has a very busy schedule, so we are all grateful for the two days he was able to assist us in camp.

“He has the honour of refereeing the first Test between the All Blacks and the British and Irish Lions, and we want to wish him well with that very important appointment.”

The Boks finished the week with two minor injury concerns, following niggles picked up by centres Damian de Allende and Lionel Mapoe.

Mapoe picked up a minor hamstring strain earlier in the week, while De Allende is troubled by a thigh contusion sustained during the last week of Super Rugby action.

The only players in the squad who missed the full week’s activities in Plettenberg Bay are France-based Duane Vermeulen, who’ll meet up with his Bok mates early this week after featuring for Toulon in the Top 14 final at the weekend, and scrumhalf and Worcester-based Francois Hougaard.

The week-long camp had a strong on- and off-field focus, and much time was set aside to include activities that were geared towards creating a strong team environment.

The players also played their part to give back to the local communities who came out in big numbers last Tuesday to support the Boks at their open training session at the Bitou Rugby Club.

On Thursday, several players took part in a community coaching clinic in Hornlee, Knysna.

Meanwhile, several squad members also played their part to support the SA Rugby 2023 Rugby World Cup bid, which was formally presented to World Rugby earlier this week.

Whiteley lauded the impact of the Plettenberg Bay training camp.

“We are essentially a new group, so it was important for us to be able to spend quality time together as a team,” explained the new team leader.

“Off the field we really spent a good deal of time to focus on the building of a strong and enjoyable team environment. Those activities were thoroughly enjoyable and it gave us chance to get to know one another much better, which is so important for a good team environment."

The Bok squad travel to Pretoria on Sunday, and the team for the first Test in Pretoria will be announced on Thursday.

Independent Media

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