JOHANNESBURG – The Springboks’ return to Pretoria for Saturday's Test friendly on local soil was labelled as a ‘homecoming' by assistant coach Matt Proudfoot.
The Boks are making the final preparations for the 'Farewell Test' against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday and Proudfoot is excited about the prospects and an appearance at Loftus (start 5.05pm).
“This is as important as the first game against Australia because it continues our evolution as a team,” said Proudfoot. “We spent three weeks in Pretoria for our build-up before the Castle Lager Rugby Championship started and this has almost been our home for this campaign for us.
“So the guys are really excited to be back in Pretoria and are pleased to be at Loftus. It’s great.”
The Springboks will name their team for the match on Wednesday afternoon, and although the Rugby Championship has been won, Proudfoot said the team’s work was far from complete.
“Winning the Championship was never a goal, it was a result of executing our planning,” said Proudfoot. “To be honest, I’ve barely thought about the title – it was never about the winning the Championship it was about doing the right things in the way to get to the World Cup.
“When we get on the plane we will have 31 guys who are fit and ready to play, with eight or nine guys at home who are as well prepared to step into the position if they are needed."
Meanwhile, Swys de Bruin advised Springbok management on Tuesday that he wished to be released from his role as an attack consultant with the team.
De Bruin made the request for “personal and medical reasons” and wished the team every success for the Rugby World Cup.
“Swys made a great contribution to the squad in his time with us and I’d like to thank him on behalf of his fellow management and the players he has worked with in the past 12 months,” said Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby’s director of rugby.
“He brought a fresh perspective to one facet of the game and he’ll be hard to replace. I’d also like to thank the Lions Company PTY for releasing him to us and SA Rugby for supporting his appointment.”
De Bruin left the squad following the draw with New Zealand and has not been involved in the preparations for the match in Salta or this weekend’s Test against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld.
🗣 “Swys de Bruin made a great contribution to the squad in his time with us and I’d like to thank him on behalf of his fellow management and the players he has worked with in the past 12 months."— Springboks (@Springboks) August 14, 2019
🔗 https://t.co/jPx4TJJu2H pic.twitter.com/ieaK8Aijb9
Erasmus said he would consider a number of options before naming a specialist replacement coach on a short-term basis.
Erasmus said: “This was not something we were expecting but our planning has been thorough and it’s something we can manage.”
African News Agency (ANA)