Cape Town - Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron on Tuesday said his team
was making solid progress in terms of their game plan and mental toughness as
their preparations continue for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in
Manchester, England, from 7 June to 25 June.
The Junior Springbok training squad faced the Western
Province Academy on Tuesday, in their second contact session since assembling
in camp in Stellenbosch earlier this month, and Theron was satisfied with the
performance at the end of the hit-out.
The SA U20 training squad produced a solid display in which
they scored 14 tries and denied the Western Province Academy from scoring one
in the contact session, which was made up of four 20-minute chukkas.
“The two contact sessions have provided a good measure of
the strides we have made since the training camp started, and it is
particularly pleasing that we have not conceded a try yet,” said Theron.
“So I believe we are on the right track on defence. Our
attack and set pieces are also improving steadily, which is encouraging.
“But it is still early days and there is a lot of work to be
done before we depart for the World Championship. We have one more contact
session against the Western Province Rugby Institute and then we play three
warm-up matches, and it is important that we continue to make a steady
improvement in these matches to reach the level at which we need to be to
compete against the best teams in the world.”
The Junior Springboks, who secured the bronze medal at the
2015 World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Italy, will kick off the 2016
international spectacle against Japan on Tuesday, 7 June at the Academy
Stadium, before taking on Argentina on 11 June at the AJ Bell Stadium, and
France on 15 June back at the Academy Stadium in the pool stages.
The semi-finals of the World
Championship will be contested on Monday, 20 June, while the last round of
matches, which includes with the eagerly-anticipated final, will be played on
Saturday, 25 June.
Theron will name his 28-man
squad for the World Rugby Championship on Tuesday, 10 May, with the official
capping ceremony set to be hosted in Cape Town on Wednesday, 1 June.
The team will face the Xerox
Golden Lions Under-19 and Under-21 teams in Johannesburg on 13 May in their
first warm-up match, which will be followed by clashes against Maties in
Stellenbosch on 17 May and the SWD Eagles in Oudtshoorn on 21 May, with the
team set to depart for the international showpiece on 2 June.
With the second contact
session completed, the players have been given a few days off to rest, and will
re-assemble in Stellenbosch on Monday.
Junior Springboks pool
fixtures, World Rugby U20 Championship (SA Time):
Tuesday, 7 June: 16h15 – South
Africa vs Japan (Academy Stadium)
Saturday, 11 June: 19h00 –
South Africa vs Argentina (AJ Bell Stadium)
Wednesday, 15 June: 20h45 –
South Africa vs France (Academy Stadium)