Dawie Theron, coach of the South African Under-20 side, is satisfied with the significant amount of work his training squad put in during their camp in Stellenbosch, which concluded earlier today.
Theron and his assistants, Nazeem Adams and Brendan Venter, worked with 48 of the country’s best U20 players at Stellenbosch University’s Sports Performance Institute. The camp started on 27 November.
“Our intention with this camp was firstly to create a team culture which included the process of making the players understand what our blue print will be for the IRB Junior World Championships,” said Theron.
“The coaches and the rest of management team spent large amounts of time with players individually, from rugby business to medical statuses and personal player development.
“The 48 players left Stellenbosch equipped with our plan of action for 2012 and in January, when we get together for our next camp with two warm-up matches included in the programme, we’ll be testing their grasp of how we want to play.
“It was a valuable 11 days with the players, who got to work with Nazeem and Brendan for the first time. We really worked extremely hard and I can only applaud the effort made by the players and the management. We also put a lot of effort into position specific training and individual skills.
“It was great to see the enthusiasm by all involved and I’m even more excited now for the next couple of months, until the Junior World Champs kick off here in the Western Cape in June.”
Theron and the national selectors, Peter Jooste and Ian McIntosh, also had an opportunity to see what the players are capable of away from match situations. They will select a smaller squad early next year for the next training camp, also to be held in Stellenbosch.
“We will be playing two pre-season friendlies, against Ikeys and Maties, on January 21 and 27 respectively. Our camp will start on January 15 and conclude with the second friendly match,” explained Theron.
“After that we will use the Vodacom Cup and various Varsity Cup competitions to refine our squad even more, before an Argentinean side arrives here for two friendlies in April, also in Stellenbosch. By then we should have everything in place to focus on the Junior World Champs.”