Junior Boks shift focus to match fitness
NEWS: Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux said his training squad’s preparations this week would include a greater focus on match-specific training to prepare the players for their warm-up games.
The SA Under-20 training squad assembled in Stellenbosch last week Monday and will wrap up their first training camp on Friday.
The squad will gather in Bloemfontein on Sunday, March 26, for their second training camp, which features three warm-up matches.
They will face the Griffons in Welkom at 15.00 (13.00 GMT) on Friday, March 31, before meeting Griquas in Kimberley at 18.00 (16.00 GMT) on Wednesday, April 5, and the Free State Cheetahs at 15.00 (13.00 GMT) at Shimla Park in Bloemfontein on Saturday, April 8.
The Junior Springboks will play two further warm-up matches, against the Varsity Cup Dream Team on Tuesday, April 25, and Western Province on Tuesday, May 9, in Stellenbosch during their third training camp, which runs from April 18 to May 12.
"Our focus in the first week of the camp was on skills, conditioning and getting the players to understand what we expect from them in the different aspects of the game through a series of training drills," explained Roux.
"We will continue to work on that this week, but we also plan to introduce more match-like training to prepare the players for the warm-up matches at the next camp.
"In line with this we have arranged to play chukkas against SA Rugby Academy players on Thursday. This will allow the players to implement that which we have been working on at training in a match situation, and it will offer the coaching team an opportunity to see what the players have to offer.
"This will be vital given the fact that we only have a little over two months to prepare the team for the showpiece,"
The players who played Varsity Cup joined the squad in Stellenbosch on Tuesday and will remain in camp until Thursday, while Blitzboks players Zain Davids and Stedman Gans will join the team on Wednesday until the conclusion of the camp following the recent World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments in Las Vegas and Vancouver.
The SA U20 will face France, Georgia and Argentina in the pool stages of the World Rugby U20 Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia, on May 31, June 4 and June 8 respectively.