Springbok coach, Rassie Erasmus. Image: X/Twitter

Springboks’ camp disrupted by club commitments

Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus adjusts plans for second alignment camp due to uncertainty over player availability for Wales Test.


Springbok coach, Rassie Erasmus. Image: X/Twitter

Springboks head coach Rassie Erasmus has been forced to make an adjustment to his plans for the world champions’ second alignment camp of 2024.

According to a report in Rapport, this change is due to uncertainty surrounding the availability of players for their Test against Wales in June.

Alignment Camp Adjusted Due to Player Availability Concerns

Charles Wessels, the Springboks’ team manager, informed South Africa’s leading franchises of the change in plans via a letter. The initial plan was to hold the alignment camp, which is the second one of the year after the first one was held during the first week of March, over three days. However, it has now been changed to a virtual one-day session, set to take place on Friday, 3 May.

The adjustment was made because Erasmus is unsure about which South African-based players will be available for the Test against Wales, scheduled to be played at Twickenham on Saturday, 22 June.

Uncertainty Over South African-Based Players’ Availability

The Stormers, Bulls, and Lions are all still in contention to reach the United Rugby Championship play-offs, with the tournament’s final also scheduled to take place on the same day as the South Africa v Wales Test.

This clash in schedules has created uncertainty over the availability of players from these franchises for the Springboks’ alignment camp and the Test match itself.

Meanwhile, the Sharks are facing Clermont Auvergne in their Challenge Cup semi-final in London on Saturday, 4 May, which means their Springbok players would not have been available to attend the Bok alignment camp.

An inside source told Rapport, “Erasmus believed it was pointless to invite so many players to the second alignment camp to compensate for the uncertainty, so he felt it was more logical to hold an online session with more players.”

Springboks’ Upcoming Fixtures in June and July

The Springboks have a busy schedule ahead of them, with four fixtures lined up for June and July:

  • Saturday, 22 June: Springboks vs Wales (Twickenham, London)
  • Saturday, 6 July: Springboks vs Ireland (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
  • Saturday, 13 July: Springboks vs Ireland (Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban)
  • Saturday, 20 July: Springboks vs Portugal (Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein)

As the world champions prepare for these crucial matches, Erasmus and his team will need to navigate the challenges posed by player availability and ensure that the squad is well-prepared for the tasks ahead.

The uncertainty surrounding the availability of South African-based players has forced the Springboks coach to adapt his plans for the second alignment camp, opting for a virtual session to accommodate more players.

Despite these challenges, the Springboks will be determined to maintain their world-class form and build on their success as they face Wales, Ireland, and Portugal in the coming months.