Nienaber: It will be tough to call players into Australia

Jacques Nienaber has confirmed that the current 42-man Springbok squad will remain in strict bio-bubble conditions when they travel to Australia for the second leg of the Rugby Championship.

The Springboks take on Argentina in the second match of their 2021 Rugby Championship campaign at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium on Saturday, after claiming a bonus-point win against the Pumas last weekend.

However, they will shortly after the match have to travel to Australia for their double-headers against the Wallabies (12 and 18 September) and the All Blacks (25 September and 2 October).

The matches against the All Blacks were originally scheduled to take place in Dunedin and Auckland, but are now set to be hosted in Perth after New Zealand closed their borders for the rest of the year.

“We will fly in a ‘bubble plane’ with Argentina from Gqeberha to Cape Town and from there, we’ll get on a plane together to Australia,” Nienaber said during the team announcement press conference on Tuesday.

“We stay within our bubble from when we leave here until we get to Australia.”

Nienaber went on to explain that the current 42-man squad will remain unchanged as the Boks head to Australia and that will be difficult to call up players due to the strict Covid-19 restrictions in the Rugby Championship.

“What people don’t understand is that we’re currently in a testing regime and that makes it tough to get people in,” Nienaber said.

“In the event we pick up injuries, even our standby players, they’re in very strict blood-testing requirements that we have to adhere to in order to get on a plane and fly to Australia.

“It’s possible to get somebody in, but to do so, they’d require a specific testing regime according to Sanzaar’s requirements in SA, fly there and isolate for 14 days.

“The process means that at this stage if they’d join the camp, they’d only be available for the last Test in Australia.”

Photo: Gallo Images

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Dylan Jack