Home Sport Tough warm-up against Welsh awaits Springboks later this year

Tough warm-up against Welsh awaits Springboks later this year

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The Test against Wales will be the Boks’ first action since October’s World Cup final and it will provide an essential opportunity to brush off some rust before the first Test against the Irish on July 6 in Pretoria.

Bok coach Rassie Erasmus could utilise the services of Springbok great Duane Vermeulen to join the coaching staff. Picture: Phando Jikelo, ANA

The Springboks are set to warm up for this year’s international season with a Test against Wales at Twickenham in June.

The Boks demolished the All Blacks 35-5 at the venue in September, and a return to the home of rugby will generate much-needed revenue for SA Rugby but also serve as a warm-up for the two-Test home series against Ireland in the first two weeks of July.

The Boks can expect plenty of support from expatriate South Africans in London, while Wales, who lost 27-26 to Scotland in a Six Nations thriller at the weekend, will give them a tough workout ahead of the matches against the No.1 team in the world.

Ireland enjoyed an emphatic victory over France in Marseilles on Friday night and will be hell-bent on proving a point against the world champions after tripping up in the quarter-finals against New Zealand. Ireland were many people’s favourites to win the Webb Ellis Cup and they will feel that if they beat the Boks in South Africa, it would be revenge of sorts.

The Test against Wales will be the Boks’ first action since October’s World Cup final and it will provide an essential opportunity to brush off some rust before the first Test against the Irish (on July 6 in Pretoria).

It will also be the Boks’ first match under a new management team, following the exits of Jacques Nienaber (to Leinster) and Felix Jones (to England).

In the latest news regarding the coaching staff, Sunday reports say Bok great Duane Vermeulen has firmed up a coaching deal with head coach Rassie Erasmus.

Vermeulen retired after the World Cup final, at the age of 37 and with 75 caps. To have him step from the changeroom to the coaching staff as Erasmus’ right-hand man will give the Boks an invaluable link between the players and the coaches,

Last week, it was revealed that Erasmus’ former assistant at Munster, Jerry Flannery, is to join the Bok set-up, while Tony Brown, the former All Black flyhalf, is to coach the Bok attack.

Vermeulen had talks with the Stormers late last year, but current reports say he will take up an “important, full-time” position at SA Rugby.

Mike Greenaway

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