Home World AFRICA Stick on Springboks' Rugby Championship fate: It's not in our hands

Stick on Springboks’ Rugby Championship fate: It’s not in our hands

Mzwandile Stick

Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

Assistant coach Mzwandile Stick has revealed that the Springbok players and management were now preparing for the Rugby Championship despite no confirmation announced.

On Saturday, Stick coached the ‘Green’ side to 25-9 victory over the ‘Gold’ in the Springbok Showdown at Newlands.

The Springboks camp will now turn their attention to the Rugby Championship, which will be held in Australia from 7 November to 12 December.

The Springboks’ participation in the event still has to be confirmed as they await on the green light from the government’s current ban on international sporting participation.

Stick acknowledged that their Rugby Championship fate is still unknown but stated that they were now preparing as if the team’s participation is confirmed.

“It’s not in our hands,” said Stick, as quoted by a SA Rugby press release.

“Our job is to make sure that we prepare the players. Since the start of the year and during lockdown there was a lot of information shared between us and the players.

“We are doing everything in our power to make sure the players are ready, but because they haven’t played for six months it’s also very important to manage the players,” he said.

“We don’t want to put them under pressure and play them for 80 minutes week-in-week-out; even now you can see players getting small, little injuries. So, the most important thing right now is player welfare and how we look after them.

“If our executive and director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus, decide we have to go then we will do everything in our power to make sure we’re ready to go.”

The Springboks will begin their Rugby Championship defence against Argentina in Brisbane on 7 November.

Meanwhile, Stick told reporters in Cape Town that the Greens’ forward power and kicking game was a “deliberate plan”

“We wanted to make it as close as possible to a Test match,” he said.

“We wanted to put pressure in the air and we didn’t want to give them time and space with ball in hand. We wanted to use our set piece and kicking game – that’s what the Springbok game is all about.”

The tactics led to three tries for the Green team – by Siya Kolisi, Juarno Augustus and a penalty try.

The domestic season will now resume on Friday with the first round of Super Rugby Unlocked.

– Compiled by Sport24 staff

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