South Africa start their preparations for the British & Irish Lions series with a number of camps over the next fortnight with the side having not played a match since they lifted the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.
The Springboks are gearing up for a return to play on home soil against the Lions in July-August, before they take part in the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship and go on an Autumn International tour to Europe.
Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus and Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber will hold camps with players in Johannesburg and Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and Bloemfontein.
"Although Jacques and his coaching staff have been in constant communication with the players throughout the past 15 months or so – keeping tabs on their performances, injury recovery and general wellbeing - we are now very excited and looking forward to meeting the players in a familiar team environment," Erasmus said in an SA Rugby news release on Tuesday.
There will also be similar camps for the Boks’ players based in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Japan, which will be run by former Ireland fullback Felix Jones, who is the team’s European-based coaching consultant.
South Africa have not played due to the COVID-19 pandemic since beating England 32-12 in the 2019 World Cup final, with the country having implemented one of the strictest lockdowns in the world that stopped all rugby activity for most of 2020.
The series against the Lions is scheduled to go ahead with three tests, but probably without fans in the stadiums.© Thomson Reuters 2021.