Assistant coach Mzwandile Stick says they await the challenge and are ready for the next test against the British & Irish Lions . He mentions that amongst the squad Handre Pollard and Wandesile Simelane are quality players and have great potential and as the test only comes around once very 12 years this was an incredible live experience to a test match for the latter.
Stick and Pollard makes mention of the mental preparation of the game which is extremely vital for the squad and balancing everything out. In terms of new game plans set pieces , physicality and breakdowns are being looked at by coaches and would pose as a huge challenge. Siya Kolisi, Ox Nché and Makazole Mapimpi joined the squad in Cape Town following their mandatory COVID-19 self-isolation. The players, however, will have to undergo medical screening before being cleared to begin their return to play protocols. Bongi Mbonambi and Scarra Ntubeni, Frans Steyn, Lood de Jager and Frans Malherbe returned to Cape Town after isolation as well.
We are playing against the British & Irish Lions and we are representing our country, so we will be ready,” said Pollard, who did not show any COVID-19 symptoms, adding that he was ready to get back on the field and give his all.
“Personally, I’m feeling good. I was lucky not to have symptoms, so it was about getting through the 10 days.
“Walking into the team room (in the last few days), the vibe is good and there is some tension, so the preparation and the talking is done, it’s time to get into the matches,” added the Rugby World Cup winning flyhalf.
Commenting on the opposition, Pollard said: “The British & Irish Lions have good players all over the park. We analysed them as well as we could and we know how good they are, and what’s to come. It will be about winning those personal battles for 80 minutes.”
“we have to iron out things, for both teams this is a massive week and good start to the series. Our focus is on the game and not too much white noise leading up to the game . It is a tough game that happens every 12 years, so the guys are looking forward to the game and coaches towards the challenges “ said Stick
Concerns on return to play
Stick also makes mention of three Boks returning to the field, in terms of Covid-19, the recovery the players have responded well and remained safe and he was not concerned about their fitness levels .Siya Kolisi, Ox Nché and Makazole Mapimpi returns to the squad following their mandatory COVID-19 self-isolation. The players, will need to undergo medical screening before being cleared to begin their return to play protocols. The team had a tough three week conditioning camp in Bloemfontein before travelling to Johannesburg and Cape Town.
“ if they are all clear to play they will be great for the team we will select the best for the team, they have what it takes to win the series “
Source: Fatima Said and SA Rugby Communications