The 14 players who will assemble in the Mother City on Sunday afternoon, are all players of national interest and who have been on a break from the Vodacom United Rugby Championship competition in the last few weeks.

The camp will involve a series of off-field alignment sessions as well as on-field training sessions to prepare the players for the remainder of the season from a rugby and physical perspective.

The players will re-join their domestic franchises for the closing stages of the Vodacom URC and Heineken Champions Cup competitions respectively.


“We are thrilled to get this important season going albeit with a small group of players as we look forward to the Rugby World Cup in less than seven months,” said Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber.

“All of these players come off an important resting period, so the next three weeks will be crucial to ensure that they return to full-out rugby as effectively as possible and to get everyone aligned with our structures going into the World Cup year.

“Our first Rugby World Cup encounter against Scotland on Sunday, 10 September, is approaching fast, so we have to make the most of each day we have with the players.”

Nienaber added: “Player management will be particularly important this season to get the squad to peak at the right time, while at the same time getting the desired results in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, our World Cup warm-up games and at the international showpiece as we attempt to defend our title.”

SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus echoed Nienaber’s sentiments: “This is a massive year for the team, and we can’t wait to get back into the swing of things with an eye on the World Cup.

“With the Vodacom URC on the go we only have a small bunch of players available to work with at this stage, but we know from past experience that every minute with the players on and off the field counts in a World Cup year.

“I would like to thank the franchises for their cooperation and assistance in ensuring that some of our key players could get the rest they needed physically and mentally as we enter this critical year for the team and the country.

“I would also like to thank MyPlayers for their role in making the break possible for the players.”

The Springboks will kick off a bumper 2023 season against Australia in Pretoria on Saturday, 8 July, in the opening round of the shortened Castle Lager Rugby Championship, which will be followed by clashes against New Zealand at the Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland a week later, and Argentina in Johannesburg on Saturday, 29 July, in their final match on home soil before the build-up to their Rugby World Cup defence starts.

In August, the Boks will travel to Buenos Aires to take on the Pumas before facing Wales and the All Blacks in Rugby World Cup warm-up matches in Cardiff and London in the final build-up to the global showpiece in France.

South Africa will launch their Rugby World Cup title defence on Sunday, 10 September, against Scotland in Marseille, which will be followed by pool matches against Romania in Bordeaux (17 September), Ireland in Paris (23 September) and Tonga in Marseille (1 October).

The Rugby World Cup quarter-finals will be played on the weekend of 14/15 October, with the semi-finals on 20/21 October and the final on Saturday, 28 October.

Springbok 2023 fixtures:

Castle Lager Rugby Championship:
Saturday, 8 July – Springboks vs Australia (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
Saturday, 15 July – Springboks vs New Zealand (Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland)
Saturday, 29 July – Springboks vs Argentina (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg)

RWC warm-up fixtures:
Saturday, 5 August – Springboks v Argentina (Buenos Aires)
Saturday, 19 August – Springboks vs Wales (Principality Stadium, Cardiff)
Friday, 25 August – Springboks vs New Zealand (Twickenham, London)

RWC fixtures:
Sunday, 10 September – Springboks v Scotland (Stade Velodrome, Marseille)
Sunday, 17 September – Springboks v Romania (Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux)
Saturday, 23 September – Springboks v Ireland (Stade de France, Paris)
Sunday, 1 October – Springboks v Tonga (Stade Velodrome, Marseille)

Weekend of 14/15 October – Quarter-finals
Weekend of 21/22 October – Semi-finals
Saturday, 28 October – Final