The Junior Springbok squad arrived in Italy on Thursday afternoon for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship and immediately settled in at their tournament base in Parma. Conditioning coach, Dr Warren Adams, took the squad of 28 players for an active recovery session which consisted of a good stretch followed by a swim in the pool. The squad left Cape Town on Wednesday afternoon and travelled via Johannesburg and Frankfurt in Germany to Milan, from where the South Africans took a bus to their tournament destination.
Hanro Liebenberg and his squad are in a good condition after attending an intensive training camp of almost two months at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport. South Africa play their opening fixture next Tuesday evening in Calvisano against the hosts, Italy, in what is expected to be a fiercely contested clash. According to Dr Adams, the purpose of the active recovery session was to shake off the travel fatigue and to prepare them for the intensive training that will follow in the build-up to the match: ‘We have four days to our first match and the purpose now is to maintain the work-rate and levels of intensity that we have achieved during the build-up before our departure to the tournament. So over the next few days our focus will be on the quality and not the amount of training because we have put in a lot of work already back home. From now the focus is to keep them fresh. In that respect it is vital that we strike a good balance between training and recovery, making sure we don’t overload them with either too much training or other related activities.’
Photo credit: Roger Sedres/ ImageSA