The Junior Springboks arrived in Rosario in high spirits on Thursday afternoon ahead of their World Rugby U20 Championship opener on 4 June.
The SA U20s travelled to their base in Rosario via Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, and arrived at the hotel on Thursday morning local time. The players will have most of the day off to recover, although they will have a late afternoon activation session to get into the swing of things before their full training programme resumes on Friday.
The Junior Springboks have arrived at their hotel in Rosario after a long journey via Sao Paulo and Beunos Aires. It is officially @WorldRugby U20 Championship time! @Springboks pic.twitter.com/TDZ2NAqZLX
— Junior Springboks (@JuniorBoks) May 30, 2019
Assistant coach Bafana Nhleko said one could sense the excitement among the players to get down to business at the international showpiece.
‘The mood in the camp is good and the players are excited to be here,’ Nhleko said. ‘We have always seen this as a bit of an adventure, especially the trip itself. But we planned things in such a way that everyone should be fresh and keen to get going.
‘The reality of the situation is this is the actual journey. We spoke a lot about the training camps and the travel, but the real journey is to play in the tournament, and one can see in the players’ attitude that they are hungry and they want to play. Ultimately that is why they play this game, to get on the field and express themselves.
Nhleko was positive about the time the team had to adapt to the time zone before their opening match against Scotland on Tuesday.
‘The pre-season trip to the UK was useful, and the two-week training camp we had back home was also very important.
‘We have always said, once you are at the World Rugby U20 Championship there isn’t much time to get into training; it is more a case of making sure that our bases are covered and that everyone is fresh and ready for the next game.’
The match against Scotland will be followed by encounters against Georgia and New Zealand in the pool stages on Saturday, 8 June, and Wednesday, 12 June, respectively. The top four teams at the conclusion of the pool stages will battle it out in the Semi-finals on Monday, 17 June, while the final will be played on Saturday, 22 June.
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