We successfully concluded day four of our three week tour of Argentina in the 2010 IRB Junior World Championship yesterday and the entire medical, fitness and conditioning preparation to have our 26 players fit, ready and available for selection are in place.
Before I chat to you about our preparations and current situation let me explain to you about some of the behind the scenes medical activities that have taken place in Argentina today.
Our team manager Willem Oliphant and I attended this meeting along with the medical doctors of all 12 competing teams in Rosario today. What was interesting was that all doctors representing their teams were impressed with our presentations and the planning we have in place to ensure that all our players maintain their optimal.
This is my first IRB Junior World Championship that I participating in, but I must admit that this tournament is much bigger than what I imagined.
I can confirm, and am very pleased to say that the SA Under-20s met all the medical requirements from the IRB Junior World Championship Committee with regards to our preparations.
Now back to our Baby Boks who are entering their final preparations for their first Pool B clash against Tonga in Parana on Saturday.
The demands on our players with travelling, different time zones and diets, training load and recovery on players especially that havent travel before, required us to plan and prepare all details on the player preparation.
It’s with great pleasure that I can say that with two days to go before our first match, that our squad is ready to take the field and are well prepared.
We got a gruelling schedule during the next three weeks where we play five matches in 16 days and the demand on player managemet will increase day by day.
Let me also quickly explain to you our setup at the hotel where we staying in Parana. There’s a medical room here in the hotel where I constantly monitor our players’ health. I also regularly receive information of players’ conditioning from the rest of my medical team – Wayne Hector (physiotherapist) and Graham Bentz (conditioning coach).
With the change in environment, we have the odd player suffering from minor colds, but nothing serious I may add. Then Wayne has his Physio room – one of the most active rooms in the hotel.
Hope all our South African rugby supporters keeps their fingers crossed that we have a serious injury free tournament.
Looking forward to chat to later on tour.
Dr. Arthur Williams
SA Under-20 Team Doctor
(Arthur also fulfilled this role with the SA Schools, SA Under -19 and SA Sevens in 2008 and 2009)