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Rugby: Lion-taming Springboks look to fresh blood for Pumas clash

Rugby: Lion-taming Springboks look to fresh blood for Pumas clash

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Third Test - South Africa v British and Irish Lions - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa - August 7, 2021 South Africa's Eben Etzebeth in action with British and Irish Lions' Maro Itoje and teammates REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

PORT ELIZABETH: World champions South Africa will look at resting some players that helped them win the series against the British and Irish Lions to manage workloads for the Rugby Championship, coach Jacques Nienaber said.

The Springboks sealed the Lions series 2-1 with a 19-16 win in Cape Town on Saturday but celebrations are already over, with the first of two tests against the Pumas in Port Elizabeth on Saturday (Aug 7).

"We are very proud about winning (the) Lions series and as a team we enjoyed celebrating that massive feat on Saturday night, but we have a big week ahead," Nienaber said in a team release.

"There are some players who were part of the initial 46-man squad for our conditioning camp in June, who have not had an opportunity yet, so we will look to give some of them a run in the next few weeks.

"It is important that we manage the players well to maintain the standards we have set for ourselves, and that includes game time for some players and resting others who have had a heavy load in the last few weeks."

Lock RG Snyman will rejoin the Springboks next week, boosting the squad to 43 following the additions of number eight Duane Vermeulen, winger Rosko Specman, scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse and hooker Johan Grobbelaar.

South Africa skipped the Rugby Championship last year over player welfare concerns, prompting organisers to rebrand it the "Tri-Nations".

New Zealand finished top of the Tri-Nations ahead of second-placed Argentina, with Australia, who hosted the entire tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic, finishing third.

The Springboks won the last Rugby Championship involving all four of the southern hemisphere nations in 2019, though it was truncated due to the Rugby World Cup.

"With a long season ahead, it is important that we build on the strides made in our last few matches when we take the field in the coming weeks," said Nienaber.

Source: Reuters/ga


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