Baby Boks pick team for Oz clash

2015-06-10 06:40
Dawie Theron (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Western Province centre EW Viljoen will earn a first starting berth for the Junior Springboks against Australia on Wednesday evening in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship Pool B decider in Calvisano, Italy.

He replaces Blue Bulls centre JT Jackson, who played in the previous Championship outings against Italy and Samoa. Jackson drops out of the match-23.

Viljoen, who will anchor the midfield with provincial partner Daniel du Plessis, is one of two backline changes to the team that faced Samoa. His WP team-mate Khanyo Ngcukana, who played against Italy in the opening match, reclaims his place in the starting-15 in place of Grant Hermanus on the right wing.

WP flank Jacques Vermeulen, who started four matches for the Baby Boks in New Zealand last year and who came off the bench last Saturday, will start in the No 6 jersey. He switches places with Dan du Preez, who has been named among the replacements.

The South Africans will round off their preparations on Tuesday evening for this important fixture.

Dawie Theron, the Junior Springbok coach, said his team is well-prepared for the game.

“We have picked a very competitive side to face the quality Australian outfit. They showed with their two wins against Samoa and Italy that they are a huge threat, especially with the ball in hand, so we will have to work hard to counter their strong points,” said Theron.

The big South Africa Under-20 pack has been in impressive form at the tournament so far and Theron expects another good display from his forward unit.

“Our forwards are showing good form and the key for us will be to keep our momentum, reduce the number of errors and to create more opportunities for our backs,” said Theron. 

South Africa and Australia are only separated by points’ difference at the top of the Pool B standings, and the winner will qualify automatically for the semi-finals on 15 June. The pool winners and the best-placed second team across the three respective groups will qualify for the semi-finals.

The match starts at 20:30 and will be televised live on SuperSport.

The Junior Springbok team to face Australia Under-20 in Calvisano is:

15. Warrick Gelant (Blue Bulls)

14. Khanyo Ngcukana (Western Province)

13. EW Viljoen (Western Province)

12. Daniel du Plessis (Western Province)

11. Leolin Zas (Western Province)

10. Brendon Thomson (Western Province)

9. Ivan van Zyl (Blue Bulls)

8. Hanro Liebenberg (Blue Bulls)

7. Jean-Luc du Plessis (Sharks)

6.  Jacques Vermeulen (Western Province)

5. RG Snyman (Blue Bulls)

4. Jason Jenkins (Blue Bulls)

3. Thomas du Toit (Sharks)

2. Joseph Dweba (Free State Cheetahs)

1. Ox Nche (Free State Cheetahs)


16. Jan van der Merwe (Blue Bulls)

17. Mzamo Majola ( Sharks)

18. Frans van Wyk (Western Province)

19. Hyron Andrews (Sharks)

20. Dan du Preez (Sharks)

21. Marco Jansen van Vuren (Golden Lions)

22. Tinus de Beer (Blue Bulls)

23. Grant Hermanus (Western Province)


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