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Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer left Cape Town a happy man after overseeing three very successful Planning Camps over the past three weeks.

It was Meyer’s first interaction with the country’s leading players since his appointment at the end of January. Two of the three camps were held in Pretoria, with players from the Toyota Cheetahs, MTN Lions, Vodacom Bulls and The Sharks. The final camp, with players from the DHL Stormers, concluded in Cape Town on Thursday.

Meyer also involved members of the South African Under-20 squad. A total of 104 players attended the three camps. Each player had one-on-one discussions with the Springbok coach and was assessed by the medical team.

“I was really very happy with the attitude and willingness shown by the players at the three camps,” said Meyer. “To me it’s very important that players want to play for South Africa and to see how eager our players are to wear the Green and Gold really impressed me.

“I know the value of taking a break, especially during a tough competition like Vodacom Super Rugby, but these guys all got stuck in and didn’t hesitate for a moment when they were asked to attend.

“Their franchises also helped us a lot and I can’t thank them enough for allowing us the time with the players. To go into the series against England with the amount of base work we’ve done, is something I didn’t foresee and it gives me a great deal of confidence for next month.

“It was always going to be a big ask to start from scratch with less than a week before we face the English, but these camps helped a lot in allaying some of the concerns I’ve had.”

Meanwhile, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) announced that negotiations with five more members of the Springbok Team Management had been concluded.

Meyer’s assistant coaches were confirmed as Johann van Graan (forwards), Ricardo Loubscher (backs) and John McFarland (defence). Basil Carzis has been appointed as conditioning coach and Ian Schwartz will be the team manager.

Van Graan, McFarland and Carzis will join the Boks for the Castle Incoming Tour against England in June and then return to the Vodacom Bulls until the end of the Vodacom Super Rugby competition.

2 Responses to Meyer proclaims Planning Camps successful

  • 1

    Heyneke Meyer believes the flyhalf trade in South Africa may be at a 10-year high, and that it will enhance the country’s overall backline play as a result.

    Speaking at a media briefing at Newlands here on Thursday, the Springbok coach said it was one of the positions giving him fewer concerns than others, just a few weeks out from the international season starting against England with three home Tests.

    His hailing of the No 10s operating for South African teams in Super Rugby came as he was asked how much of a knock it was to him for Cheetahs wunderkind Johan Goosen to be ruled out for several months with a dislocated shoulder sustained against the Highlanders last weekend.

    “I won’t say he wouldn’t have made the June Tests, but I won’t say he would have, either: put it this way, he’d have had a good chance.

    “But the great things is, suddenly a position where I thought South Africa were perhaps lacking for the last 10 years or so — we had one or two flyhalves, but not too many who could create or play tactically – (now boasts) four or five great options.

    “I’ve also been very impressed by Peter Grant lately. He’s playing his best rugby, so he’s an option.

    “As for Goosen, I do believe he can become the best flyhalf in the world when he reaches a mature age. I’ve chatted to him a lot, and told him I like the way he puts his body on the line, is very physical … I want that from a flyhalf or any player representing South Africa for that matter.

    “The injury is a blow, and he’ll get others in his career, but he’s mentally tough and hopefully the rehab goes well and he’ll be back playing. He’s a guy we can definitely (earmark) for the future, with some special attributes.

    “But Patrick Lambie is another youngster in the running and Elton Jantjies was impressive in the camp.

    “So yes, suddenly there are fine flyhalves and that’s why I think our backline play will improve.

    “World Cups and especially finals have shown how important the No 10 is to your game-plan. If you look at my history I’ve not been scared to pick young ones in that position: Derick (Hougaard), Morne (Steyn) were about 19 or 20 when (blooded by the Bulls during Meyer’s tenure there).”

    Asked by Sport24 whether the increasingly high-stakes Bulls versus Stormers derby a week before the first Test against England was a perpetual nightmare to him, Meyer said: “All four (SA teams playing on June 2) are worrying me!”

    Apart from the big north-south crunch, there is also a match between the Lions and Sharks in Johannesburg.

    “It is a very difficult scenario: the last thing I want to do is ask the guys to hold back. Obviously I want them to win Super Rugby. They’ll go flat out and there will be a lot of guys sore after those games.

    “I know our players are very competitive (for derbies) and naturally I want to see that very same competitiveness against England, and also to go to another level. It will be tough, for sure.

    “I don’t want to talk up those games as ‘final trials’ because then they will definitely kill each other … I ought to have a 90 percent idea of the side before entering them.

    “But I’ll still only name the team after those games have taken place.”

  • 2

    OK Mr Meyer your wish was granted.

    Lets see how your A team performs.
    I would love to catch up with the All Blacks winning percentage. If you could do to them what they have done to us over the last 15 or more years you would be my BIGGEST HERO. I would give you 2 terms at office with pleasure if the first term produces 70% + figures.


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