Peyper lends a helping hand to Boks
NEWS: The Springboks have turned to South African Test referee Jaco Peyper to assist with advice ahead of their Test series against France.
Peyper spent two days at the Springboks' camp in Plettenberg Bay and has assisted the side with the technical aspects of the Laws of the Game.
The Springboks wrapped up their on-field preparations in Plettenberg Bay on Friday with two field sessions and also some early morning gym work.
The week-long camp had a strong on- and off-field focus and time were set aside to include activities that were geared towards creating a strong team environment.
The players also played their part to give back to the local communities who came out in big numbers last Tuesday, to support the Boks at their open training session at the Bitou Rugby Club.
Springboks captain Warren Whiteley has embraced Peyper's presence at the camp and has labelled it as 'rare' occasion.
"Jaco is a very experienced and well-respected international referee, and for us as players, it was a rare chance to spend quality time with him and to gain insight from his experience as a world-class referee," explained Whiteley.
"We covered a lot of important technical detail with him and we as players really enjoyed the interaction with Jaco. We know he has a very busy schedule, so we are all grateful for the two days he was able to assist us in camp.
"He has the honour of refereeing first the Test between the All Blacks and the British and Irish Lions and we want to wish him well with that very important appointment,"
Meanwhile, several squad members also played their part to support the SA Rugby 2023 Rugby World Cup bid, which was formally presented to World Rugby earlier this week.
Whiteley lauded the impact of the Plettenberg Bay training camp.
"We are essentially a new group, so it was important for us to be able to spend quality time together as a team," Whiteley said.
"Off the field we really spent a good deal of time to focus on the building of a strong and enjoyable team environment. Those activities were thoroughly enjoyable and it gave us chance to get to know one another much better, which is so important for a good team environment,"
Centres Lionel Mapoe and Damian de Allende both sat out during the field training sessions because of injury niggles. Mapoe picked up a minor hamstring strain earlier in the week, while De Allende is troubled by a thigh contusion sustained during the last week of Super Rugby action.
The Springbok squad travel to Pretoria on Sunday and the team for the first Test in Pretoria will be announced this coming Thursday.
Francois Hougaard will join the squad on Monday while Duane Vermeulen joins his Bok teammates on Tuesday, giving the squad its full complement of players.