Springboks hit the road running in Washington

Seven Springbok debutants to start against Wales in USA
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The Springbok tour group arrived in Washington DC on Thursday morning (local time) and went immediately into their preparation routine for Saturday’s Test against Wales at the RFK Stadium.

What we have to ask though, is this game really necessary? Should the team not be focusing on the series against England? The answer is no, this game is just a money spinner for SA Rugby.

The once-off international in the United States capital kicks off a busy month for the South Africans, who also clash with England over the course of three successive weeks in the highly anticipated Castle Lager Incoming Series.

The Springboks’ travelling party of 26 players and management staff arrived in Washington DC at around 07h00 (13h00 SA time), and the players went straight into their recovery exercises after checking into their hotel. Aled Walters, the Springboks’ Head of Athletic Performance, put the 26-man group through various mobility and movement drills to ensure the players’ bodies recuperate sufficiently after travelling to the US from South Africa.

After lunch and a short resting period, the Springbok squad headed over to the nearby Trinity University where they conducted an open training session, which was witnessed by a group of enthusiastic local supporters.

Earlier, the team arrived to a warm welcome at the Washington Dulles International Airport, where they were greeted by Bok fans and personnel from the South African Embassy. The entire squad and management wore commemorative Madiba t-shirts to commemorate the 100 year anniversary celebrations of the former SA President Nelson Mandela.

Pieter-Steph du Toit will captain the Springboks for the first time on Saturday when he leads the South African side – sporting seven new caps and a further six uncapped players on the bench – into battle against Wales.