Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber itching to get back on the park

Newly-appointed Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber is relishing the start of the international season, which is expected to kick off in August.

The world champions were due to return to the field in July, with matches against Scotland and Georgia lined up before they begin their Rugby Championship title defence the following month.

Fresh start for the Springboks

The Tests against the European nations have since been postponed due to the global pandemic, which has disrupted preparations, with no training possible since March, when South Africa went under lockdown.

With Level 3 regulations allowing contact sports back on the training field, Nienaber says he is itching to build on 2019's success.

"I don't think any of us can wait to get back, and we want to build continuity with what we did in Japan," he said.
"We finished our alignment camps at the start of the lockdown and we created profiles on all the players. At this stage the unions are in charge of their players, so they take charge of their conditioning and rehabilitation, but we communicate with the unions weekly."Jacques Nienaber, Springbok coach

Planning ahead 

Nienaber's appointment as head coach is one of a few key personnel changes at the Bok camp after SA Rugby director of rugby handed over the reins to him earlier in the year.

Other notable changes include the departure of assistant coach Matthew Proudfoot, who has taken up a similar role with the England national team, as well as that of conditioning mentor Aled Walters, who recently joined Leicester Tigers.

Nienaber says he is in touch with Erasmus, as they are planning the way forward.

"Rassie and I talk every day. He's more off-the-field at this stage, so I'll talk to the coaches about the coaching plan and how we plan to take it forward. We've created profiles on every one of our players based on the few Super Rugby games played."Jacques Nienaber, Springbok coach

The Springboks are scheduled to return to action with a home clash against Argentina at Ellis Park on 8 August.