Captains laud opening camp

Cheetahs captain Adriaans Strauss and Lions leader Josh Strauss say the opening Springbok planning camp gave the players a better understanding about coach Heyneke Meyer’s plans and structures.

A group of Cheetahs and Lions players attended the first of three Bok planning camps earlier this week (16-19 April) in Pretoria. This is an initiative, requested by Meyer, to ease all the players into the national system. This also provides early preparation ahead of the June Test series against England as the Boks will only have one week to train as a squad before the first game in Durban (9 June).

Cheetahs skipper Adriaans Strauss said the camp was productive for the players.

‘It’s great to see the structures that the coach wants to put in place,’ said Strauss. ‘It is good to share the vision, and to know all the South African rugby players are sharing the same vision that the coach has.

‘I think we are leaving here with a lot of work done and we know the structures that Heyneke wants to put in place.’

Josh Strauss added that it wasn’t a tiring week, but they were very productive: ‘It was awesome. The intensity wasn’t too high. It is a bye week for the Cheetahs and the Lions, so you get time to refresh, but a lot of detail is put in as well.’

Meyer said he also had breakthrough meetings with all the players, which allowed both parties to pass on their say.

‘I had one-on-ones with every single player, going through their stats, and I think it went well,’ said Meyer. ‘It is actually surprising how much we covered in three-and-a-half days. They know exactly where they stand.

‘Sometimes you don’t understand why a player in a certain position makes an option that I sometimes think may not have been the right option. It was great speaking to them and asking what their roles are in their respective teams, and what the coaches want from them in a specific situation.’

Meyer will hold his second planning camp with a 45-man squad of Sharks and Bulls players next week (23-26 April) in Pretoria, and he’ll have his final planning camp with a selected Stormers squad in Cape Town from 1-3 May.