Baby Boks team named
Cape Town - Junior Springboks captain Wiaan Liebenberg will lead a team with IRB Junior World Championship as well as Vodacom Super Rugby experience when they take on Ireland in their opening Pool B match in Stellenbosch on Monday.
Paul Jordaan and Tshotsho Mbovane (outside backs) played in the 2011 tournament in Italy, while Jordaan (Sharks), locks Pieter Steph du Toit (Sharks), Ruan Botha and Paul Willemse (Lions) and prop Steven Kitshoff (Stormers) have all played Super Rugby in 2012.
Junior Springboks coach Dawie Theron, named his side on Sunday and expressed satisfaction with his selection. “We have put a lot of focus on our first game against Ireland and I’m happy to say that we were able to pick a team with this match in mind. We have a good mix of experience and skill and everyone is keen and ready to go,” Theron said.
“It is great to have players with experience of Super Rugby available, but the challenge will be for those players to contribute to the Junior Springboks in a constructive way.”
Theron said it would be a huge honour for the team to play in front of home crowds, although that brought its own challenges.
“We realise there will be added pressure because we’re playing at home, but we see that as positive pressure. We have a huge opportunity to play in front of familiar crowds and in familiar conditions and we need to make the most of it.”
Liebenberg, who captained the side in warm-up games against Argentina earlier this year, said that the players were ready to go.
“We‘ve worked very hard to get to this point and now it’s time to deliver. Everyone is keen and ready to go and looking forward to the opportunity and privilege of representing our country against the best age group players in the world.” Teams:South Africa (vs Ireland, Monday 4 June 2012, kick off 18:45):
15. Dillyn Leyds (Western Province), 14. Paul Jordaan (Sharks), 13. Pat Howard (Western Province), 12. Jan Serfontein (Blue Bulls), 11. Raymond Rhule (Free State), 10. Tony Jantjies (Blue Bulls), 9. Abrie Griesel (Blue Bulls), 8. Fabian Booysen (Golden Lions), 7. Wiaan Liebenberg (Blue Bulls, captain), 6. Shaun Adendorff (Blue Bulls), 5. Pieter Steph du Toit (Sharks), 4. Paul Willemse (Golden Lions), 3. Allan Dell (Sharks), 2. Mark Pretorius (Golden Lions) 1. Steven Kitshoff (Western Province)
Substitutes:: 16. Jason Thomas (Blue Bulls), 17. Oliver Kebble (Western Province) , 18. Ruan Botha (Golden Lions), 19. Braam Steyn (Sharks), 20. Vian van der Watt (Golden Lions), 21. Handré Pollard (Western Province), 22. Tshotsho Mbovane (Western Province), 23. Maks van Dyk (Sharks)Ireland: