Rugby

Junior Boks gear up for World Champs

2017-03-10 14:22
Chean Roux (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - South Africa’s best young players have Georgia firmly on their minds as preparations intensified in Stellenbosch this week for the Junior World Championships in the Eurasian country in June.
 
Head coach Chean Roux and the coaching team put the players through their paces with a succession of skills and conditioning drills over the last five days in Stellenbosch with the camp concluding next Friday (March 17).
 
“There has been a notable difference in the quality of the training drills since the first day of camp, and the players have really responded well to the intense workload,” said Roux. “We are certainly on the right track.
 
“Competition for places is intense and I’m happy to see how the players are adapting to the structures and team culture. We are steadily developing into a settled squad.”
 
The final 28-man squad will be named in mid-April with a number of players on Springbok Sevens, Super Rugby or Varsity Cup duty also in contention.
 
Louis Koen, in his role as SA Rugby’s acting on-field High Performance Manager (overseeing all on-field programmes from Under-16 to Under-20 and Women’s Rugby) will continue to assist Roux and assistant coach Mzwandile Stick for the duration of the campaign.
 
Pieter de Villiers, who was the Springboks’ scrum consultant between 2012 and 2015 and is currently assisting the Stormers in Super Rugby, is assisting the team with scrumming skills on a temporary basis.
 
“We are committed to ensuring that the players develop correct techniques early on, which is something Mzwandile, Louis, Pieter and I have placed a lot of emphasis on,” said Roux.
 
“Mzwandile’s focus is on backline play; Louis’s role will involve general attack and kicking and Pieter focuses mainly on the scrummaging.”
 
The squad will be in camp until next Friday and will have eight days off before their tour to the central unions from March 26 to April 9.
 
They will have another training camp from April 18 to May 12, and will get together for the World Championship holding camp on May 21, with the team set to depart for Georgia on May 25.
 
The SA Under-20s will face France, hosts Georgia and Argentina in the pool stages of the tournament in Tbilisi, Georgia, on May 31, June 4 and June 8 respectively.

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