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Nienaber reveals when Bok squad for Wales series will be announced

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber doesn’t want the players to think about the Springboks at the moment. He says they should concentrate on the URC.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber doesn’t want the players to think about the Springboks at the moment. He says they should concentrate on the URC.
Image: Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Jacques Nienaber says the Springbok squad for the three Tests against Wales will be announced after the United Rugby Championship (URC) late next month.

There is much anticipation around who will make Nienaber’s final squad for the season-opening Tests against the Welsh in Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Cape Town in July.

After hosting the Welsh, the Springboks will turn their attention to two marquee Tests against New Zealand in Mbombela and Ellis Park before taking on Australia and Argentina.

Nienaber said on Thursday he has been impressed by the four South African teams playing in the URC in which the Bulls, Sharks and Stormers qualified for the quarterfinals, with Lions missing out.

“I was encouraged by all four teams. I think the Lions did well when they came back and were on a great winning streak over here [in SA]. To beat the Dragons is tough. I went there with Munster in 2016 and it is not easy. I think they played good rugby.

“It is probably going to be the closest to Test match rugby and the team announcement will be only after they finish with their franchises in the knockouts.”

Speaking on Thursday at an event where SA Rugby and Betway announced a partnership to boost women’s rugby development, Nienaber said he doesn’t want players to think about the Springboks at the moment.

“At the back end of the season we knew that there would be a few SA teams that could qualify for the knockout stages of the URC and that is where you want them to be,” he said. “I think players must now focus on playing and performing for their franchises and I don’t think they should hear the voice of the national team coach now.

“They should only hear the voices of their local, club and franchise coaches and we are not involved now.”


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