Faf de Klerk has admitted that the uncertain nature of the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa is a cause for concern for the World Champions.
The Springboks haven’t played since they deafeated England in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final in 2019, having pulled out of last year’s Rugby Championship due to player welfare concerns.
While de Klerk understands the reasons behind South Africa’s unplanned absence from international rugby, he admitted that 2020 was a frustrating experience for him and his team mates.
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“We as players, we’re still in (chat) groups together, and we really want to play together and see each other again and have that same feeling that we had post-World Cup of that family environment,” he said.
“But there’s also that understanding that we need to accept what’s going on in the world and not be selfish and say, ‘I want to play’, because there are bigger things to consider.
“I think we have handled it well but it is frustrating that it’s over a year since we played. It is definitely something I have been looking forward to for a long time,” de Klerk told World Rugby.
‘Within a week, everything changes’
With rumours swirling about the possible cancellation of the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa, there is still no certain timeline for when the Springboks will play next.
While the uncertainty may leave South Africa under prepared should the tour go ahead, de Klerk refused to make any excuses should the Springboks fail to impress in the test series.
“They [the South Africa Rugby Union] are in constant chats with the players to keep us in the loop and give us some pointers on our play and to ask how we are doing.
“But it is so difficult because, literally within a week, everything changes. I have heard they might move the Lions tests to a later date but, hopefully, that doesn’t happen.
“I don’t know what it is going to look like, it might be a case of where we rock up and we have a few weeks together and we need to play.
“We are aware of that possibility and we, as players, will have to prepare as well as we can and be mentally and physically ready for the challenge.
“If things go wrong, we can’t use a lack of time to prepare as an excuse. I think that is on both sides of the ball,” de Klerk commented.