Accompanying the Junior Bok squad on their travel from Johannesburg to Brisbane, Dr Clement Plaatjies (team doctor) kept a watchful eye over the group during the long-haul journey, making sure players understood and implemented the team’s medical protocols whilst in transit.

According to Dr Plaatjies, the information sharing process on travel and recovery already started two months ago at their training camp in Stellenbosch.

“Those info sessions were aimed at giving players an understanding of what they must do to gain full recovery after such a long international trip, and to teach them some new behavioural skills which will assist their recovery process,” Dr Plaatjies explained.

“I think the players responded well to the different methods of communication. It is important to keep their age in mind when communicating with them, and I so used infographics in addition to our WhatsApp group, to share bite-sized info which were easy to interpret and apply.”

Dr Plaatjies emphasised the vital role of sleep in the overall recovery process: “The most important recovery aid is rest and nothing replaces good, quality sleep. My main task was to ensure the entire group enjoyed a good night’s rest and get quality sleep, so they are prepared for the next day’s recovery sessions.”

After a good night’s rest, the team headed to the training field shortly after breakfast on Friday.

According to Thulani Nteta, the Junior Bok strength and conditioning coach, the squad’s active recovery and moderate training sessions were all planned to complement their overall recovery following their long-haul travel.

The group firstly did some recovery exercises in the gym followed by non-contact, moderate training field drills on the outside fields of the Sunshine Coast Stadium.

The team to face New Zealand on 2 May will be named early next week.