• Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber said they have three objectives they need to sort out in the British and Irish Lions series.
  • The Springbok squad will be announced on 5 June, from where they’ll play two Tests against Georgia and three against the Lions.
  • SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus said they’ll pick their strongest team for the Lions matches.

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber said they’ve got three big objectives to tick off in the British and Irish Lions series.
Those are: to win, transform and ensure they broaden their squad depth in what will be a busy year for his team.
While they’ve got Georgia in two Tests on 2 and 9 July, the British and Irish Lions are their biggest challenge.
The Springboks then have two home Tests against Argentina, followed by four matches away to Australia and New Zealand, respectively before the end of year tour.
Nienaber said there’s a big need to tick all the boxes and not just focus on an individual aspect.
“Our strategic objective is to get a good performance and to win. The second one is to transform and the third one is to broaden our squad,” Nienaber said.
“We’ll probably try to get the balance that speaks to all three objectives, so we have to select a squad that’s good enough to win.
“It’s also not just about ticking the boxes, but we also believe in transforming the team because diversity is good for us.
“As we saw in the World Cup, we really feed off the diversity.”
SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus made it clear how their match-day 23s will look for the Lions tests.
“For the British and Irish Lions Tests, we’ll pick our best possible squads because they come around every 12 years. We nearly missed them,” Erasmus said.
Erasmus said their selections wouldn’t be swayed by who Lions supremo Warren Gatland has picked and how he intends to use them.
Gatland has picked liberally from all four home nations, with Erasmus saying he’s selected his squad with a specific purpose in mind.
“I don’t think it will influence our selections. The selections of the players are pretty much even between the four countries,” Erasmus said.
“All of the guys there have worked with Warren before and the toughest thing is to get the four countries to play in the same way.
“It’s definitely going to be a mix of styles. If you look at their pack, it’s a fast and quick one with mobile props and it’s the same with the loose-forwards.”

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