Springbok captain Siya Kolisi has expressed his excitement about being part of the national set-up again following the conclusion of the first alignment camp in Durban on Tuesday.
Cape Town – Springbok captain Siya Kolisi has expressed his excitement about being part of the national set-up again following the conclusion of the first alignment camp in Durban on Tuesday.
While Bok coach Jacques Nienaber was at pains to explain earlier in the week that the players at the camp had not been selected for the three-Test series against Wales in July, there is always a lot of enthusiasm and expectation for those in attendance and fans trying to work out who is in the mix.
Nienaber felt that it was not necessary to divulge the name of the 22 players who had been invited to the three-day workshop in Durban – although he did reveal that Japan-based duo, Elton Jantjies and Malcolm Marx, were also part of the camp as they were recovering from injuries in Cape Town – as he insisted that the group was not a playing squad as such, but rather a chance for him and the rest of the Bok management to chat to certain players about the plans for 2022.
Jake White also stated last week that four Bulls players were invited: Elrigh Louw, Johan Grobbelaar, Ruan Nortje and Johan Goosen, although star Stormers No.8 Evan Roos was not called up.
“Howzit guys, Siya Kolisi here. We’ve just wrapped up camp, here in Durban. Our first alignment camp … it was really amazing,” the Bok skipper said in a short video on the Springbok Twitter account on Tuesday.
“Great to check where we are as a team and where we’re going. And we are super excited for the internationals coming up soon, and all the boys have been working hard in their clubs to make sure that we get an opportunity to make the team.
“So, we can’t wait to get the international season started, and we can’t wait to see you guys at the stadiums. Have a great day, cheers.”
The Boks start their Test season against Wales at Loftus Versfeld on July 2, followed by two further games in Bloemfontein and Cape Town, before the Rugby Championship in August and September. Then they will finish the year with a tour of Europe.
Nienaber said during a press conference earlier this week that the camp was important to prepare the players for the season ahead. “There are injured players here, and this allows us to have a look at them and see where they are injury-wise, which will give our medical team a good projection on them so that we can keep tabs on them,” he said.
“Also, we do not have pre-seasons like other sides, where they can align over a period of time. We get together close to our Test matches, and (as the Springboks), we do things differently to some franchises in terms of how and when we train and how we do things, so having a group of guys for three days in a row is good for us.
“As an example, the players can pop in directly to our performance team and ask how we do things here, so that when they enter this environment at Test level, it does not come as a shock to them.”