The Springboks put in an intense field session in unfamiliar hot and humid conditions on Monday as the countdown to the World Cup kick-off began in earnest.
The Boks’ head of athletic performance, Aled Walters, turned up the heat with a morning gym session to precede the afternoon’s sapping effort.
If Monday’s session at the Shiranami Stadium, a five-minute walk from the team hotel, is anything to go by, the Boks will have nothing to fear in terms of warm-weather preparation. An intensive on-field session was followed by a lung-busting fitness stint in high temperatures that left every player drenched. The programme has been carefully mapped out to set the Boks up for ‘Test week’ next week.
The team will have three more full training days this week before transferring to Tokyo on Saturday for the official World Cup welcoming ceremony. That will mark the start of ‘Test week’ with the opening Pool B match against New Zealand on 21 September now looming.
Bok coach Rassie Erasmus explained why they had chosen to base themselves in Kagoshima.
‘We visited quite a few sites to see which was the best opportunity for us, and Kagsohima was the best,’ Erasmus said. ‘Everything is top notch – the hotel, the food and the training facility – so we’re very happy here and that’s given us a good chance to do well in the World Cup.
‘We also chose it because the extreme conditions of the heat make sure the body is well conditioned, so that when we get to the match it’s easier. It was part of the thinking in planning to put the guys in some extreme conditions so that when it comes to the match they would be well prepared.’
Photo: Steve Haag Sports via Hollywoodbets