South Africa’s backline coach, Mzwandile Stick, has urged his players to rise to the occasion when the Springboks face the British and Irish Lions in a three-test match series. The first test match will be played at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
This has been one of the most difficult periods for Springbok rugby due to the COVID-19 infections in the camp, which hampered preparations for the upcoming series.
As a result of the COVID-19 scare, the team’s second test against Georgia, which was scheduled for 9 July, had to be cancelled. Stick says he is glad the team is now back together as a unit.
” A lot of people are going through challenges you know with the pandemic, something that a lot of us didn’t expect but it is what it is. We had a lot of challenges like the other team, the British and Irish Lions on the other side. But I think for now we are in a good space, we got almost everyone back in camp. Now even the guys that were in Joburg for ten days, I think the last group will arrive today. We are in a good space and it’s a test week for us, so things will go back to almost 100% according to how we want things to be done during test week.”
Facing the British and Irish Lions is a dream come true for any professional South African rugby player. Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard says the players are happy to be together again and are looking forward to the challenge.
“Personally for me, I’m ready to go and with such a squad I think this morning when you walk into the team room you feel a different vibe, but the tension in the room it’s always good, it’s going to be like that for the next three weeks. So, I think as a group getting everyone back together again is just lovely and everybody is enjoying it again. It’s time to go now, the prep, all the talking everything is finished. Now it’s time to get stuck in these three test matches,” says Pollard.