The Springboks arrived at their Rugby World Cup base in Toulon on Sunday morning in high spirits after a ten-and-a-half-hour ferry overnight trip from Corsica.
Head coach Jacques Nienaber said the squad was looking forward to kicking off their 2023 campaign against Scotland in their opening match of the tournament on Sunday 10 September in Marseille, following a productive one-week training camp on the Mediterranean island.
“We had a great ferry trip, which was a unique experience for the team, and we are thrilled to finally be in Toulon for the World Cup,” said Nienaber. “It was an overnight trip, so the players managed to get good rest and we are now officially in World Cup mode.
“We ticked the boxes we wanted to from a training perspective in Corsica and we’ll return to the field raring to go on Tuesday.”
Nienaber added: “It feels surreal to be here. We’ve been working toward this goal for four years and we are now officially one week away from playing our first match.
“There’s a lot of excitement in the group and the team is completely aligned in terms of what we have to do if we want to be successful in France.”
The coach said the team’s preparations for the match against Scotland were well underway and that they would continue the hard work on and off the field this week to ensure they are ready for the challenge on Sunday.
“We said from the outset that we would approach the tournament one match at a time, and the hard work behind the scenes to prepare for the Scotland clash started in Corsica already,” said Nienaber.
“They are ranked fifth in the world, and we know what they are capable of, so it’s vital that we hit the ground running from our first training session.
“Fortunately, the players are used to the heat and humidity after training in these conditions in Corsica, so we are pleased with our preparations and can’t wait to begin the tournament.”