Saturday’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship Test is the penultimate match of this year’s competition and the Springboks will complete their fixtures next week when they face the All Blacks at a sold-out Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
The Springbok have won four of their five Tests at the stadium, while the remaining game ended in a draw for a 80 % win record at the 46 000-seater venue.
Meanwhile, the Springbok squad was bolstered on Sunday by the arrival of a number of players who played in the weekend’s Currie Cup and other provincial matches.
When asked about the addition of Nel to the squad, Stick, himself a former Springbok Sevens captain, couldn’t hide his excitement.
“We’ve seen what Ruhan offered in the (DHL) Western Province team, and we have identified real potential. So we want to afford him an opportunity, especially as we continue to build towards the Rugby World Cup next year. There is fresh energy in our squad, and I think Ruhan will add to that,” said Stick.
“We have to give credit to the Sevens system, where they have won two (HSBC Sevens World) series titles in the past three years. There is something that they are doing well, and their players are being recognised. It’s also great that Rassie is willing to look at the Sevens player for fifteens,” added Stick.
“We saw in Brisbane that we created many chances, but we failed to convert enough of those into points. That’s maybe due to inexperience and perhaps a lapse of focus. It’s something we are working on,” emphasised De Klerk.
The Springboks kicked off preparations on Monday afternoon when they treated Port Elizabeth supporters to a lively open training session at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, venue for Saturday’s big clash.