Shape up, or ship out

Springboks who do not meet the team’s fitness requirements this season will find themselves out of the national side.

“There are performance clauses in the players’ contracts and if they don’t meet them, it could have far-reaching consequences,” Bok conditioning coach Derick Coetzee told Die Burger on Monday.

Coetzee believes that this year will have a major impact on the Boks’ performance at the 2007 World Cup, and if players are not properly rested during the Super 14, Tri-Nations and Currie Cup, the Boks could face an injury crisis when they can least afford it.

If only nine of the 20 contracted Bok players were able to do all the fitness tests in January, how will things look in May?

Coetzee hopes the Super 14 coaches will look after their key players, but with the threat of relegation on everyone’s minds, his plea could fall on deaf ears.

“We must do things correctly now if we want to be successful next year,” he said. “It doesn’t help that we offer excuses afterwards that our players weren’t properly conditioned.”