It seems like the Springboks have pressed the refresh
button on their computer after their think tank in Cape Town last week.
And with 12 new players in the squad, assistant coach Johann van Graan admits that there is newfound confidence within the group after what can only be described as a frustrating year.
With their overseas pros not yet part of the squad, the Springbok camp is buzzing with a klomp new stars.
It’s the guys from the Free State Cheetahs – Sergeal Petersen and Francois Venter among others, and the Blue Bulls’ newbies such as Lizo Gqoboka, Jamba Ulengo, Tian Schoeman and
company that are bringing the gees.
Van Graan explains: “I am very excited, [the new guys bring] a lot of energy.
“There are 12 new
players in the squad, we get a lot of confidence from [them] especially the Cheetahs and the Bulls players.
“It’s a new competition if I can call it that – with the Barbarians game to come.
“There are a lot of new young faces, a lot of skill, so we can’t wait to get going on tour.
“We had three fantastic days of training, working on small detail and the big thing will be to put it together…”
Not only are there new faces on the pitch, but the Boks have added to their tally on the sidelines as well with the additions of Cheetahs coach Franco Smith and the Golden Lions’ JP Ferreira.
Van Graan also reserved some praises for them.
He adds: “They’ve been brilliant — coach Allister [Coetzee] creates a brilliant environment for the coaching team.
“I’ve known [JP] for a long time, he is very detail orientated, a very hardworking young coach who’s done really well with the Lions and it’s fantastic to have him around.
“Franco what a season he’s had, coming into Super Rugby for his second year, then winning the Currie Cup.
“There is a lot of excitement [and] one or two new ideas that we all really enjoyed.”