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Boks shift focus to Rugby Championship

The Springboks are the winners of the Castle 3 Test series against the British & Irish Lions, but now their focus turns to the Rugby Championship. Picture:Phando Jikelo, African News Agency (ANA)

‘The players understand the importance of going into the Rugby Championship. We are the defending champions, and we’d like to retain the title.’ – Deon Davids, SA assistant coach.

JOHANNESBURG – The Springboks will be ready to face Argentina in the Rugby Championship on Saturday according to its coaching staff, despite little time to revel in their series victory over the British and Irish Lions last week.

Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids said ahead of the clash with Argentina in Nelson Mandela Bay: “We really enjoyed winning the series against the British & Irish Lions and we celebrated the win on Saturday night, but with the level of professionalism in the squad we were able to quickly shift our focus to the next task,” said Davids.

“We started full-out on the Rugby Championship preparations today (on Monday) and went through what we can expect from Argentina, so this is a normal Test week for us, and we’ll prepare accordingly.

“The players understand the importance of going into this competition. We are the defending champions, and we’d like to retain the title.”

Springboks assistant coach Deon Davids. Picture: INPHO, Billy Stickland

The Boks returned to the training field on Monday for the first of two back-to-back Tests at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium before travelling to Australasia for the away-leg of the competition.

Bok hooker Malcolm Marx echoed the sentiments of Davids.

“It was an amazing feeling and an unbelievable experience for us as a team and for the country to win the Castle Lager Lions Series, but we need to move onto the next competition, so our focus now is on the first Test against Argentina,” said Marx.

“There are a few sore bodies as there usually are after any Test match, but we have to keep going and we are looking forward to the next challenge.”

Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber will name his team to face Argentina on Tuesday, and Davids said the coaching staff will consider a number of factors as they finalise the match-23.

“We are only one-third into our season, and we are making the switch from a very competitive Lions Series into another testing competition,” said Davids.

“We’ll take into consideration the players’ performances, work load, injuries, as well as our player rotation system when we make the final decision on the team that will play this weekend.”

African News Agency (ANA)

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