CAPE TOWN – A total of 22 players from the Stormers and Lions have been invited to attend the second Springbok alignment camp from 8 to 11 April at the Riverside Resort in Vanderbijlpark situated in the south of Johannesburg.
The Springbok management are using the three alignment camps to accelerate preparations for the forthcoming international rugby season.
Twelve Bulls players attended the first camp, which concluded in Vanderbijlpark on Wednesday, after flanker Marco van Staden was added to the initial group of 11 players.
Two members of the Bulls coaching staff, Hayden Groepes (attack coach) and Jacus Coetzee (strength and conditioning coach), as well as the convener of national selectors, Peter Jooste, also attended the proceedings over the four days.
The second camp is set to start on Sunday, while Durban will host the third gathering from 22 to 25 April.
There are no on-field activities during the camps and the focus of the various indoor sessions is exclusively on alignment, which will ensure a smooth transition from the Super Rugby franchise teams to the Springboks when the squad gets together for the June internationals.
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus, who is also SA Rugby’s director of rugby, said: “The success of the June Tests will be determined by how the Springbok coaching staff and the players follow through on what was agreed upon at the camps when the players are back at their franchise teams.”
The coach described the four-day camp as intensive: “We used the numerous indoor sessions to explain our strategic thinking and also the systems we are putting in place for the forthcoming Tests against Wales and England.”
He praised the players’ input and enthusiasm and said the Springbok coaches are now looking forward to the second camp.
The Springboks will kick off their international commitments with a clash against Wales in Washington DC on Saturday, 2 June.
They will then return to South Africa to face England in the Incoming Series, which will comprise three Tests on consecutive weekends.
Ellis Park in Johannesburg will host the series opener on 9 June, while the second Test takes place on 16 June in Bloemfontein, and the final match in the series will be contested a week later at Newlands in Cape Town.
The following group of players will attend the second national alignment camp:
Cyle Brink (flank, Lions), Nizaam Carr (loose forward, Stormers), Ruan Dreyer (prop, Lions), Pieter-Steph du Toit (lock, Stormers), Eben Etzebeth (lock, Stormers), Steven Kitshoff (prop, Stormers), Siya Kolisi (flank, Stormers), Wilco Louw (prop, Stormers), Malcolm Marx (hooker, Lions), Frans Malherbe (prop, Stormers), Bongi Mbonambi (hooker, Stormers), Franco Mostert (lock, Lions), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (loose forward, Stormers), Cobus Wiese (flank, Stormers),Warren Whiteley (No 8, Lions).
Andries Coetzee (fullback, Lions), Ruan Combrinck (wing, Lions), Damian de Allende (centre, Stormers), Aphiwe Dyantyi (wing, Lions), Elton Jantjies (flyhalf, Lions), Lionel Mapoe (centre, Lions), Damian Willemse (flyhalf, Stormers).
Note: Damian Willemse will only attend the Sunday sessions.