Springboks coach Nienaber can't wait to back on the park
Nienaber was speaking at the Food Forward South Africa warehouse in Cape Town yesterday, where he and Bok skipper Siya Kolisi, assistant coach Mzwandile Stick, Steven Kitshoff, Bongi Mbonambi, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Blitzboks and Imbokodo captains Siviwe Soyizwapi and Zintle Mpupha assisted in packing food parcels to aid hunger alleviation.
On the initiative, he said: “In January and February, when we started talking about the year, everybody felt that they wanted to give back, and then came Covid and this initiative. When the idea came out in our Whatsapp group, within second the guys started responding saying ‘I will give this’, so the guys were in it, boots and all, right from the start.”
With South African rugby looking to return to play in August, the Bok coach said that they need to build on what they achieved in Japan, regardless of whether any Tests will be played this year.
“I don’t think any of us can wait to get back, and we want to build continuity with what we did in Japan.
“We finished our alignment camps at the start of the lockdown and we created profiles on all the players. At this stage the unions are in charge of their players, so they take charge of their conditioning and rehabilitation, but we communicate with the unions weekly.”
Nienaber explained how he and director of rugby Rassie Erasmus are going about things during the pandemic.
“Rassie and I talk every day. He’s more off-the-field at this stage, so I’ll talk to the coaches about the coaching plan and how we plan to take it forward. We’ve created profiles on every one of our players based on the few Super Rugby games played.”