The Springboks and fellow African team Namibia will train together next week as both teams go into the final phase of their Rugby World Cup preparations. The Namibians, who have been in impressive form recently, will hold a RWC camp in Durban and the teams decided it would benefit both to hold joint training sessions from Monday to Wednesday. Apart from the on-field training, there will also be meetings between the coaches and other management of the two teams.
South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer says: ‘It will be great preparation for us to train with a team that is also going to the World Cup. Namibia have done well recently, successfully defending their African Cup title and showing a massive improvement from last year. I’m excited to be working with them – they have a core of experienced players and management we know well and I’m sure we’ll be able to tap into each other’s expertise as we get ready for the World Cup.’ The Welwitschias are in a Rugby World Cup pool with New Zealand, Argentina, Georgia and Tonga, while the Boks are pooled with Japan, Samoa, Scotland and the USA.
Phil Davies, the coach of Namibia, said the training camp was an important part of Namibia’s Rugby World Cup campaign. They will travel to Durban with 36 players, 15 of whom played at the tournament in 2011 while four players, captain Jacques Burger, prop Johnnie Redelinghuys, loose-forward Tinus Du Plessis and scrum-half Eugene Jantjies, featured for Namibia at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France. Davies says: ‘The training camp in Durban is vital for our preparations as it will expose our players to Tier One opposition. The focus will be on delivering our systems efficiently under pressure and we are hoping for confirmation that our structures in attack and defence work against a world-class team. It is a great opportunity for us to replicate a World Cup week.’
The 31-man Springbok squad for the Rugby World Cup will be named in Durban on Friday evening and the squad will depart for England on 11 September.