Junior Springboks captain Jeremy Ward said it was good to see the focus in the squad when the SA Under-20s returned to training on Monday following a week off to rest and spend time with their families ahead of the showpiece.
The Junior Springboks assembled for their final holding camp in Cape Town fresh and driven for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester, England, which kicks off in eight days’ time. They had their first field session on Monday morning.
Ward was pleased with the focus among the players since returning to camp and said they were ready for the tournament.
“We spoke about the importance of focusing completely on the task at hand when we assembled in camp yesterday (on Sunday) and I am pleased with the energy the players displayed at training this morning,” said Ward.
“We are determined to do well at the World Championship and we know that it is now up to us to make the country proud.”
Ward’s sentiments were shared by Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron.
“The break was good for the players,” said Theron.
“The energy and motivation levels in the camp are high and the players are excited for the challenge ahead. One can sense that the players realise that it is now up to them to implement the structures and systems we have been working on at training during the tournament, especially with our first match only eight days away.
“That said, the players believe in their abilities and hopefully they will transfer that confidence onto the field in Manchester.”
The Junior Springboks will have three more field training sessions – one on Monday afternoon and two on Tuesday – and a gym session on Wednesday before departing for Manchester on Thursday via Johannesburg.
The team will face Japan in their opening World Rugby U20 Championship pool match on Tuesday June 7, which will be followed by clashes against Argentina on Saturday 11 June and France on Wednesday 15 June.
Junior Springboks pool fixtures, World Rugby U20 Championship (SA Time):
Tuesday, 7 June, 16h15: South Africa vs Japan (Academy Stadium)
Saturday, 11 June, 19h00: South Africa vs Argentina (AJ Bell Stadium)
Wednesday, 15 June, 20h45: South Africa vs France (Academy Stadium)