New Springbok squad members Curwin Bosch and Dan du Preez had their first training session with the Boks on Tuesday afternoon in Port Elizabeth, where the squad kicked off its preparations for the start of the 2017 Castle Lager Rugby Championship.
Fullback Warrick Gelant, the third uncapped young player included in the 34-man squad, sat out training because of flu.
The bulk of the squad assembled in the Friendly City on Tuesday morning and headed straight to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium following completion of their customary medical assessments.
The wife of Courtnall Skosan gave birth to the couple’s first child, Courtnall Skosan Junior, on Tuesday morning in Johannesburg and the winger will join the Bok squad later in the week, while UK-based scrumhalf Francois Hougaard is set to link up with the Bok group this coming Sunday.
Another PE player and Old Grey High Schoo pupil, Flank Siya Kolisi is recovering from an ankle sprain sustained in Vodacom Super Rugby action for the DHL Stormers. He is completing his final phase of rehabilitation and should return to normal training next week.
Scrumhalf Ross Cronje sat out the afternoon workout because of the shoulder injury he sustained in Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby Final between the Emirates Lions and the Crusaders.
“We will monitor his improvement over the next few days before he is allowed contact,” explained Dr Konrad von Hagen, the Boks’ team doctor.
Flyhalf Handré Pollard, meanwhile, continued his on-field rehabilitation and his reintroduction to training will be done systematically.
“Overall, the squad is in good spirit and they completed today’s training session at high-intensity,” explained Dr Von Hagen. “Our aim for this week is to get them through as much preparation as we can, while obviously keeping in mind the workload of the players who have just completed a tough Vodacom Super Rugby campaign.”
Local rugby supporters in Port Elizabeth are in for a treat on Wednesday when they will be able to watch the Springboks continue with their preparations during an open training exercise at the Gelvandale Stadium. The public training session starts at 15h00 and the full squad will also participate in a brief signing session afterwards.