Boks expect hostile reception in Salta

Damian de Allende PHOTO: GETTY

The Springboks resume there preparations for the Rugby Championship Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires today.

The team landed in the Argentine capital city yesterday and will fly though to Salta on Friday.

The men in green-and-gold want to build on their disappointing performance against the Pumas last week with the side scraping through for a 30-23 win in Nelspruit.

It will be coach Allister Coetzee’s first away test since taking charge of the team while many of the players haven’t played in Argentina before.

The team’s assistant coach, Johan van Graan, says Salta is a rather intimidating venue to play rugby.

“It’s totally different, we spoke about it the last time we were here,” said Van Graan.

“We had that wet Test match at Loftus and then coming to desert-like conditions in Salta. The conditions in Nelspruit was pretty wet, coming to Salta it’s very dry weather, very dry weather, a very hostile environment with barbed-wire around the field.”

“It’s a fascinating place to play Test match rugby, the Argentine people really support their team well.

“There is a lot of signing and a lot of noise, the field seems a bit smaller.

“The last time we were here the fire brigade came out and sprayed water on the supporters just to cool them down.

“Hopefully both teams will come out to play.”

The last time these two sides played in Salta was in 2014 and the Springboks narrowly beat the Pumas 33-31.

Meanwhile, the team doctor, Jerome Mampane, has given the squad a clean bill of health ahead of the match

“The players rested well from the travelling schedule and they will undertake a couple of recovery activities on Tuesday.

“Everyone is fine at the moment, ready to resume field training on Wednesday.”

Allister Coetzee will be naming his side at 13:00 on Thursday and a few changes are expected.

Saturday evening’s Test at the Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena kicks off at 21:40. – MORGAN PIEK