Manchester – The Junior Springboks arrived in Manchester, England, on Friday fresh and motivated for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship, which will take place from 7 to 25 June.
The team landed in London on Friday morning and then took the short flight to Manchester, where they will be based for the next three weeks.
The team kicks off their campaign on Tuesday, 7 June, against Japan at the Academy Stadium.
They then take on Argentina on Saturday, 11 June, at the AJ Bell Stadium before returning to the Academy Stadium on Wednesday, 15 June, for their final round-robin match against France.
The semi-final will be played on Monday, 20 June and the Final on Saturday, 25 June.
Junior Springbok captain Jeremy Ward and his team wasted no time taking to the field and had a flush-out session soon after arriving in the popular soccer town.
“Travelling is a challenge because the players respond differently to long flights,” said Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron. “Fortunately most of the players rested well on the overnight flight from Johannesburg to London. That said, player management will be vital in the next few days so that the players can be at their best physically and mentally before our opening match.
“We also have a quick turnaround between matches in the pool stages, and we are playing a total of five matches in three weeks, so it is vital that the players keep fresh and get enough rest each day.”
Theron said the team’s arrival in Manchester marked the beginning of their campaign, and that it was important for the players to get focused as quickly as possible for the tournament.
“When one lands in the host country, it makes everything feel real,” said Theron. “The players now know they have to be switched on all the time, whether they are at training, team meetings or playing a match.
“They will have this evening to settle in and work in a good night’s rest, but tomorrow we expect the players to be totally focused on the task at hand, and that is to make sure that they are ready for the first match against Japan.”