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Springbok honeymoon about to end


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The Springbok honeymoon will be over for a few players on Wednesday morning when they are told who the 30 players are for the first Test squad to face Wales in Bloemfontein on June 7.

The expanded Springbok training squad will be addressed by Springbok coach Peter de Villiers at their Somerset West camp an hour before the official announcement at midday on Wednesday.

However, there was no sign of selection anxiety when the training squad wrapped up their final training session for the day at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on Tuesday afternoon.

The afternoon session also marked the first time that all the players were in attendance including new Bok assistant coach Dick Muir.

The Sharks contingent arrived in time for participate in the morning session but centre Adi Jacobs who is nursing a slight injury withdrew from the action.

Flyhalf Butch James arrived from England and opted to do light exercises on the side of the field to offset the stiffness he felt after the long flight (economy seat) to South Africa.

The last player to arrive was fullback Percy Montgomery who was not in time for a run at the afternoon session.

Many of the players who fail to make the 30-man ‘cut’ on Wednesday will be taken up in the Emerging Springbok squad which will also be announced on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s sessions saw the players run far more with the ball, and it was obvious that De Villiers, Muir and Gary Gold were trying to forge an understanding of a fluid passing game.

It was a demonstration of the style that De Villiers would like the team to play. “Some players are still caught in the habit of going to ground when they are caught trying to cross the advantage line,” De Villiers said.

“That’s not how we want to play our game. “We want to play on our feet and try to run everyone off their feet without abandoning the basics of the game.

“The biggest challenge for me as a coach is to get the players to understand the “when, how and why.”

The only player yet to arrive is lock Victor Matfield.

Sapa –

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