31 Jan 2012

Springboks coach says conditioning key to success

6:02 am on 31 January 2012

The new Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer says he'll make finding common ground with Super Rugby franchises and northern hemisphere clubs over conditioning of their Springbok players his priority.

Meyer was appointed on Saturday as successor to Peter de Villiers and is tasked with rebuilding a team that has lost stalwarts in captain John Smit and vice-captain Victor Matfield, while the international futures of players such as Fourie du Preez, Jaque Fourie, Danie Rossouw, Gurthro Steenkamp and Francois Steyn are in doubt because they are based overseas.

This year's Super Rugby competition runs from February through to August, with Meyer's first assignment sandwiched in the middle as England visit South Africa for three tests in June.

Meyer says he's on good terms with most of the franchise coaches and he wants to see if they can come to a win/win situation, especially in terms of conditioning, which will require a big step up.

The conditioning of the players in the northern hemisphere is also one of his main concerns.

The former Bulls director of rugby says his other immediate task was to study current rugby trends and make sure the Springboks adapt to the changes in the game.