There is less than a month to go until the Springboks begin the defence of their Rugby World Cup crown in France against Scotland. The team is in Cardiff preparing for a warm-up match against Wales at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.
The match day squad will be announced on Wednesday. The last thing the team needs is any fresh injury concern, they also need to tweak a few areas against a quality opponent ahead of the World Cup.
The Boks are two games out from the World Cup. Warm-up games against Wales and New Zealand will give them the best preparation ahead of the defence of their crown but also open the door to potential injuries.
And with the Boks sweating on the fitness of a few key players, more injuries would plunge the camp further into crisis. It’s a fact of life, and Daan Human, the Springbok assistant coach says while injuries can happen, the team mustn’t fear that they will happen.
“All the countries, there is a lot of injuries happening at the moment as well like I think the French team just lost Ntamack their fly half who is actually their first choice fly half so it does happen and obviously to us as well, we have one or two guys on the fringe coming back from injury not at in the group at the moment. We are still tracking them so that will have an influence but unfortunately this is games that should be played in preparation for the World Cup so I don’t think we must have a lot of fear going into these games because we have got a good group. We have got a lot of players who can come in who haven’t been in the group so it is part of the game unfortunately, it is part of the game,” says Human.
The match against the Springboks will be Wales’ final warm-up match. They’ve already played England twice, winning at home and losing narrowly at Twickenham. Jean Kleyn, the Springbok lock based abroad, knows the Welsh will give the Boks a stern test.
“So Wales have always been good and competitive of the international level and just from the two last games I would say arguably you have two very good results. You’ve got a good win at home and then a very narrow loss away from home so it is a very threatening side and we will be looking to put in our best performance this weekend,” says Kleyn.
The Boks will be hoping Wales play in that conventional but uncompromising Northern Hemisphere style, as evidenced in the six nations and their other warm-up games.
They need that sort of test when they begin their World Cup against Scotland, with Ireland later to come in the group stages as well.