Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby journalist
2 minute read
8 Nov 2016
3:09 pm

‘Massive’ week for the Boks

Rudolph Jacobs

Flyhalf Pat Lambie predicted ‘a massive week’ in training for the Springboks if they are to hold their own against England this weekend at Twickenham.

With the maximum London temperature reaching just nine degrees this week and rain predicted for the rest of the week, four players were withdrawn from training as a precaution.

Wing JP Pietersen, lock Pieter-Steph du Toit and props Vincent Koch and Lourens Adriaanse were the players watching proceedings earlier this week from under a warm blanket, while fullback Willie le Roux also didn’t participate in the squad session and trained one side on his own.

Since Eddie Jones – the Boks consultant in 2007 – took over the coaching of England they have been in awesome form holding the No. 2 position in world rugby behind New Zealand.

While the Boks haven’t lost to England since 2006, England have been unbeaten this year in nine Tests, winning the Six Nations without dropping a game and whitewashing Australia 3-0 in June Down Under.

“We are faced with a massive week of training, and we’ll have to get our preparation right,” warned Lambie after captaining the Boks to a 31-31 draw against the Barbarians at Wembley last weekend.

Lambie also said they didn’t quite get out of the game what they achieved to.

“We wanted to build some momentum from last weekend going into this week,” he said.

“But unfortunately it didn’t quite turned out that way, but there were definitely some positives,” he said.

Lambie said they have learnt some harsh lessons last week albeit with a squad that contained nine uncapped players.

”We have to learn to respect the ball a bit more and the turnovers really hurt us, but there were also some encouraging signs,” he said.

And even though it was a non-Test Lambie treasured the opportunity to captain the national side.

“It was a massive honour to captain the side, and a day I will never forget.

“I think everyone really enjoyed themselves, and it’s always special to be part of those kind of games, and everyone played their hearts out.

“Some young players wanted to grab the opportunity, and some of them definitely did.”