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Rugby Championship: Esterhuizen and Orie reinforce Boks

Sharks centre Andre Esterhuizen and Lions lock Marvin Orie are set to join the Springbok Rugby Championship squad in Auckland, New Zealand.

Esterhuizen and Orie did not travel with the Bok squad to New Zealand after beating the Wallabies in Johannesburg two weekends ago, and Orie was on Currie Cup duty with the Golden Lions on Saturday.

The centre started the Springboks win over Australia, making good yards in the early going but spent ten minutes in the bin for a reckless tackle chasing down his own kick. Orie earned his third Bok cap off the bench against Australia.

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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – JULY 20: Marvin Orie during the The Rugby Championship match between South Africa and Australia at Emirates Airline Park on July 20, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images)

Following their drawn match at the Westpac stadium over the weekend, the Boks stayed behind in New Zealand rather than fly back to South Africa, which would have resulted in another long haul from Johannesburg to Argentina via Brazil in the next few days.

The Springboks scored a converted try in the last minute of the match against the All Blacks to share the spoils 16-16 in Wellington, and they currently top the Rugby Championship standings with seven points from two matches, one more than holders New Zealand.

The Springboks enjoyed a rest day on Monday following their transfer to Auckland on Sunday, and they will have a team-building exercise on Tuesday with field-training sessions set to resume on Wednesday.

Rugby Championship going to plan

Rassie Erasmus, the national director of rugby, said on Monday that their travel plans will continue to play a key role in the Springboks’ preparations over the last two weeks of the shortened 2019 campaign.

“Although we did not manage to beat New Zealand, I think we could see the benefit of sending a group of players out to Wellington earlier than the rest of the squad,” said Erasmus.

“We have a good plan in place for the next two weeks, which includes our transfer to Buenos Aires and the match-build for the Pumas Test.”

Meanwhile, Springbok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk will undergo a graduated return to play process after his failed head injury assessment during the Test at the Westpac Stadium.

The squad will fly out to Argentina in two batches over the coming weekend and they will be based in Buenos Aires for their Test build-up before flying out to Salta next Thursday.

A bonus-point win over the Pumas will seal the Rugby Championship campaign for the South Africans.

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