Tough competition at Baby Boks

2015-03-27 16:00
Grant Hermanus (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Western Province junior player Grant Hermanus is raring to go after receiving his first Junior Springbok call-up this week.

The Junior Springbok provisional squad was announced this week and it includes a host of talent. The players will gather in Stellenbosch from Sunday for trial sessions.

Western Province (20), the Blue Bulls (14) and Free State (12) have contributed the most players, while there’s some continuity with several players returning following last year’s Junior World Championship campaign in New Zealand, where South Africa finished second after losing in the final.

WP junior fullback and 2013 Craven Week Player of the Year Hermanus, who is in his first year out of school, is looking forward to a tough week of trials.

“If you look at the squad, there are talented players from all over the country in every position. There is no easy ride into the final squad for anybody,” Hermanus told “It’s a good thing, though, as this competition will bring out the best out of all the players. You can expect a strong Junior Springbok squad to compete at the next tournament.”

Hermanus, who can cover wing and boasts a good kicking game, believes the number of WP players selected indicated the strength of the Cape union’s junior rugby structures.

“Western Province junior rugby has been really strong over the past few years. Both the WP Under-19 and Under-21 teams have qualified for their respective provincial tournament finals regularly, claiming a few impressive titles. Most of the players are recruited from local schools and have played together at schoolboy level, so there’s a lot of continuity, which helps.

“I played for WP Under-19 in my final year of school, and this experience added a lot to my development. Not many schoolboys are offered this opportunity, so I really enjoyed it.”

Hermanus is currently in the Western Province Vodacom Cup team, and will make senior debut this weekend.

“It’s been great training with the ‘Vodies’ squad. There are many players with experience, and I’m learning a lot from them. The intensity of the game is definitely a step-up, so I’m excited to test myself at this level.

“My goals are to claim a spot in the match squad this season and play as many Vodacom Cup games as possible. I also want to work hard and earn my place in the Junior Springbok squad later this year.”

2015 Junior Springbok provisional squad:

Blue Bulls

Matthys Basson (prop), Warrick Gelant (centre), Njabula Gumede (prop), Dewald Human (flyhalf), JT Jackson (centre), Jason Jenkins (lock), Jurie Linde (centre), Jinx Molapo (wing), Adrian Maebane (centre), Menzi Nhlabathi (flanker), Abongile Nonkontwana (lock), Luigy Van Jaarsveld (number eight), Alandre Van Rooyen (hooker), Ivan Van Zyl (scrumhalf)

Boland Cavaliers

GL Erasmus (scrumhalf)

Eastern Province

Malcolm Jaer (fullback), Tyler Paul (flank), CJ Velleman (flank)

Free State Cheetahs

Joseph Dweba (hooker), Lorenzo Gordon (wing), Gunther Janse van Vuuren (prop), Gerhardus Labuschagne (centre), Ox Nche (prop), Stephen Rautenbach (centre), Frans Steyn (Shimlas, hooker), Andre Swarts (wing), Arno van Staden (wing), Conrad van Vuuren (prop), Reinach Venter (hooker), Jasper Wiese (number eight)

Golden Lions

Ruan Ackermann (lock), Marco Janse van Vuuren (scrumhalf), Le Roux Roets (lock), Gerdus van der Walt (centre)


Hyron Andrews (lock), Dan du Preez (lock), Jean-Luc du Preez (flanker), Ruan Kramer (prop), Rowan Gouws (scrumhalf), Mzamo Majola (prop), Ayron Scrhamm (number eight),  Innocent Radebe (flyhalf)


Mogau Mabokela (Pukke, prop), Walt Steenkamp (Pukke, lock)

Western Province

Ruan Brits  (hooker), Dan du Plessis (hooker), Daniel du Plessis (centre), Jaco Coetzee (number eight), Grant Hermanus (fullback), Michael Kumbirai (prop), Remu Malan (Maties, scrumhalf), Daniel Maree (flank), Ryan Oosthuizen (centre), Khanyo Ngcukana (wing), Justin Phillips (scrumhalf), Ernst Stapelberg (flyhalf), Brandon Thomson (flyhalf), Christo van der Merwe (Maties, flanker), Francois van der Merwe (prop), Frans van Wyk (prop), Jacques Vermeulen (flanker), EW Viljoen (fullback), Edward Zandbergh (lock), Leolin Zas (wing)

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