South Africa is ready to return to rugby.
The General Manager of Corporate Affairs at SA Rugby, Andy Colquhoun, said on Tuesday an announcement about the return would be made in this week.
This would include details about the Super Hero day at Loftus next weekend, a local competition from 10 October, the Rugby Championship, and a possible North v South clash at Newlands on 3 October.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber is also excited about the rest of the year and said in his online column for the Springbok Magazine, he believed the country’s top players were better prepared to start playing than most would like to believe.
“Locally, despite being out of action since mid-March, I think the players have done a really good job,” he said.
“It’s enlightening when you look at the dedication and sheer grit of them sticking to their individual training programmes during the lockdown.”
Nienaber, who took over as national head coach from Rassie Erasmus at the start of the year, said the Springbok coaching staff had cast more than an interested eye over the action in both New Zealand and Australia, where domestic competitions there started up weeks ago.
“Furthermore, we were delighted to see a number of our current Springboks, as well a fair number of players we have earmarked for a wider training group, return to action in the Northern Hemisphere,” he said.
“Most notably in England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, while those based in France also returned to action later,” he said.
Nienaber said while the Bok management team are hoping to hear very soon of plans for the rest of the year here in South Africa, the Springbok coaching staff are continuing with their planning and logistic preparations on various fronts.
“Fortunately, virtual meetings make it nowadays easy and convenient to gather a large group of players online at regular intervals,” he said.
“There the coaching, medical and conditioning staff can interact with them to discuss various important aspects of the Springbok preparations, such as analysis, training and recovery and protocols, nutritional requirements and so on,” he said.
Nienaber added it was great to watch the full-blooded action of the Super Rugby Aotearoa between the five New Zealand sides, where the Crusaders once more showed their dominance despite some great competition from their fellow Kiwi rivals.
“The Australian version was similarly good to watch – not only to see some live rugby competition – but it also gave us some valuable insights into what these two countries have to offer from a domestic and international competitions’ perspective,” he said.