Boks latest – Noakes influential in ‘rested’ Boks brings you news from the Springboks’ camp.

Noakes influential in ‘rested’ Boks - Springboks assistant coach Gary Gold has caused some confusion by saying that the Springboks were ‘rested’ on advice from Professor Tim Noakes rather than injured like they claimed.

Speaking to Beeld, Gold said they had taken the advice of ‘medical people’ like Noakes, a vocal critic of the punishing schedule the players are made to endure, in pulling a group of 21, mostly first-choice, players from Tri-Nations tour.

However, the line peddled to to the media and public was that the players omitted from the Tri-Nations tour were injured, which precluded their selection. Springboks coach Peter de Villiers also repeatedly dismissed claims that they were being rested, and scoffed at reports that they were in a training camp in Rustenburg in a period of what conditioning experts term ‘active rest’ (training without the physical and mental demands of a match).

‘Now that we have given these players a rest, the team is suddenly unprepared for the World Cup. The tour was a disappointment, but we have a lot of experience to fall back on,’ Gold said.

Meanwhile, Gold added that concern about the ageing Springbok team was unfounded. ‘The team is on average 2½ years younger than England’s team was when it won the 2003 World Cup,’ he said. He continued, saying the coaching team is 90% to 95% sure of how their World Cup side will look, with only a few positions still up for the taking.