CAPE TOWN, Feb 9 (Reuters) - The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has reached an agreement with the country’s Super Rugby teams to limit the game-time of key Springbok players and keep them in the best possible shape for this year’s World Cup.
With the World Cup starting in England in September, Bok coach Heyneke Meyer is desperate to see the workload reduced for some of his players.
SARU did not name individuals, but confirmed they have reached a blanket agreement with the five South African teams.
No player specified will feature for more than five matches in a row without being given a rest, not including the play-offs and knockout stages.
“We are extremely grateful to the Super Rugby franchises for agreeing to assist in ensuring our key players’ game time is managed in the build-up to the World Cup,” SARU CEO Jurie Roux said in a statement on Monday.
“It’s a massive year for rugby and we’re confident that our franchises can set the tone for the 2015 season by being competitive from the word go as the players aim to impress the national selectors to make it to the World Cup.”
SARU have also confirmed the Boks will play against a World XV in Cape Town on July 11, a week after the Super Rugby final. The match was initially scheduled for late August.
Pieter Kruger, who holds a PhD in clinical and performance psychology, will also join the Springboks’ team management as performance psychologist for the duration of the 2015 season.
He has previous worked in rugby with the ACT Brumbies and English club Harlequins, as well as Premier League soccer sides Chelsea and Arsenal.
“It’s great to have Pieter on board and I know he will make a huge difference for the Springboks,” Meyer said. (Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)