Burger joins Bok training

Injured Springbok flanker Schalk Burger has rejoined his team-mates for the first time since his neck injury at the national training camp in Johannesburg. [more]

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Injured Springbok flanker Schalk Burger has rejoined his team-mates for the first time since his neck injury at the national training camp in Johannesburg.

Burger injured his neck in the second Test against Scotland this year, and was ruled out for six months.

While he will take no physical part in the activities, he will participate in the theory sessions and team building sessions ahead of next year’s World Cup in France.

Burger said, however, that he is unlikely to change his style of head first into rucks and mauls, even though he feels a bit overweight.

"It feels like I’ve put on a bit of weight – too many wine festivals – but actually I’ve lost some. I’ve been making appearances, that sort of thing, but I miss running around," Burger told the Sunday Times.

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"You’re young and your body takes a lot of punishment, so you do feel immortal a bit," he admitted. "But I’m human after all. I’ve had this setback, but I’ll get back 110 percent, I’ll play the same way.

"It all depends on that first tackle. If I feel something wrong, I’ll know it’s not right. But I want to play the game I know. It’s what works for me and for the team."

Burger added that he has missed the national set-up as much as the Springboks have missed him this year.

"I’ve missed it. It’s much tougher being a spectator that a player. At least when you’re playing it’s all in your hands and you can do something about the game.

"I’m not a good spectator at all. I’ve played most of the Tests these past few years, so I’ve had a hunger to be involved. This has also taught me not to take playing for granted. I’m hungry to be playing again."

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