Springbok winger, Aphiwe Dyantyi has been withdrawn from the training squad to undergo rehabilitation to a hamstring injury picked up in training last Friday. The 2018 World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year needs specialist treatment that will determine when he can return to the Boks. Meanwhile the Springboks are in Johannesburg ahead of the start of their international season that begins on Saturday against Australia in a Rugby Championship match at Ellis Park.
The Boks have been together as a training group for three weeks already, hard at work ahead of the Rugby Championship and then the World Cup in September. They’re trying to control what they can, because, they are without their captain, Siya Kolisi, who is still recovering from injury, and they’re trying to manage player workloads, so they can hit the ground running come Saturday.
“What has been pleasing through Super Rugby is to see how many franchise leaders/captains are in the squad, you look at Steven Kitshoff, Malcolm, Eben, Pieter-Steph, Beast has been a captain so there’s a lot of captains that have been leaders for their franchises so it now falls on someone else’s shoulder to take that mantle going forward until Siya is ready,” says Springbok forwards coach Matt Proudfoot.
It’s all about planning, and this is when squad rotation comes into play and with it opportunities for players who are further down the pecking order to get a run.
“I think Rassie has been very prudent in his selection and bringing in players from outside that could really add an extra dimension to this team,” explains Proudfoot.
Player management is one thing the Boks are also trying to handle as best they can, a group of players will leave later this week for New Zealand, the Boks won’t say when, to be fresh for their World Cup group opponents on the 27th of this month.
“What you must understand with the draw, our second game is New Zealand away from home. If we get on a flight on Sunday we only get to New Zealand on Tuesday so we had to take that approach that we need to get guys to New Zealand before Tuesday. The Australians have first choice of the flights heading east so it means we can only fly on Sunday. So just with the draw and the competition its necessitated the way we’ve picked this team and how we’ve picked it,” explains Proudfoot.
The Boks are clearly fighting the war on many fronts, however this week the focus needs to be all about Australia, and the start of the Rugby Championship.