The Junior Springboks rugby team completed their first two training sessions on Thursday in Auckland since arriving earlier in the week in New Zealand for the IRB Junior World Championship (JWC).
The JWC2014 takes place from 2 to 20 June in Auckland and surrounding areas, with the Junior Boks up against Scotland on 2 June in their opening fixture.
Cell C Sharks prop Thomas du Toit was especially glad to be part of the training session after he joined up with his SA Under-20 team mates on Tuesday. The front ranker did not attend the training camp back home in Stellenbosch becauseof Vodacom Super Rugby commitments with the Durban franchise.
On finally meeting up with his Junior Springbok team mates, Du Toit said: “I was really looking forward to meet the guys and I’ve heard that there was a very good spirit in the camp. I know quite a few of the boys and they all made me feel welcome and I felt at home from the start,” enthused Du Toit.
He added: “It was a good feeling to finally run onto the training field with the guys. Now we are all looking forward to a few more good training sessions before the tournament kicks off,” according to Du Toit.
The South Africans have settled in quickly into their local surroundings since their arrival. On Wednesday, they spent much of the day busy with recovery activities, which included separate gym sessions for the forward and backs as well as a swimming session.
On Thursday the team had two field sessions at the Cornwall Park fields.
#JWC2014 set for record TV audiences
The seventh annual IRB Junior World Championship kicks off next Monday, June 2 and according to the organisers is set to become the most televised since the tournament began in 2008.
Teams are arriving in New Zealand this week ahead of kick off at the under 20 championship in Auckland.
The pool stages will be played in in Pukekohe and North Harbour Stadium, with the final held in Eden Park on Friday, June 20.
The premier age-grade tournament will be beamed to over 262 million homes across the globe, with a whopping 436 hours of live Rugby shown in over 140 countries.
The under 20 tournament kicks off next Monday, with England out to retain their crown after beating Wales to win the JWC trophy last year.
South Africa won the trophy on home soil in 2012 and this year’s hosts New Zealand won the coveted prize four times between 2008 and 2011.