Stormers to lose Willemse to Junior Boks

    2018-04-26 15:15

    Cape Town - Stormers flyhalf Damian Willemse and Springbok Sevens player Muller du Plessis will join the Junior Springboks in the UK after being named in Chean Roux’s 29-man squad for their warm-up tour in preparation for the World Rugby U20 Championship. 

    The Junior Springboks will face Scotland in Edinburgh on Friday, May 4, Wales in Cardiff on Tuesday, May 8, and England in Worcester on Friday, May 11. 

    Willemse will join the Junior Springboks in England for the final tour match, meaning that he will miss the Stormers' clash against the Chiefs at Newlands on May 12, while Du Plessis will fly directly from Singapore to Edinburgh before of their opening match against Scotland. 

    The only new face in Roux’s squad, which will be led by lock Salmaan Moerat, is former SA Schools prop Nathan McBeth. Apart from McBeth and Willemse, all of the squad members featured in the warm-up matches against Georgia in Stellenbosch, which the Junior Springbok won 55-14 and 48-23 respectively.

    "The UK tour is a vital cog in our preparation for the World Rugby U20 Championship, as we will play three tough Tests against sides who will also be participating in the competition," said Roux. 

    "Our squad has been together for four camps now, so the players know each other well on and off the field, but we believe this tour will bring them even closer together.

    "Several players in the squad have never been overseas before, so it will also be good to see how they adapt to playing on foreign territory in front of passionate crowds.

    "With regards to Damian and Muller, it is fantastic that they will join us on tour, and I would like to thank the Stormers, in particular, for working with us in this regard as we build toward the U20 Championship." 

    Commenting on McBeth’s inclusion, Roux said: "Nathan has been in SA Rugby’s junior structures for several years having coming through the SA Rugby Youth Weeks and SA Schools team, and he has played with most of the squad members at some point in his career, so it is good to have him the in the group. He also boasts Under-20 international experience after playing for Scotland in the U20 Six Nations, so he knows what to expect." 

    The team will depart for Edinburgh on Monday, May 30, and will return to SA on Sunday, May 13. The Junior Springboks will face Georgia, Ireland and France in the pool stages of the World Rugby U20 Championship in the south of France, which runs from May 30 to June 17. 

    Junior Springbok squad for UK Tour:

    Zak Burger – Sharks, scrumhalf

    Phendulani Buthelezi – Sharks, looseforward

    Ben-Jason Dixon – Western Province, lock

    Lubabalo Dobela – Free State, flyhalf

    Muller du Plessis – Sharks, utility back

    Schalk Erasmus – Western Province, hooker

    Tyrone Green – Xerox Golden Lions, winger

    Jack Hart – Golden Lions, scrumhalf

    Lyle Hendricks – Western Province, centre

    Daniel Jooste – Western Province, hooker

    Cohen Kiewit – Golden Lions, prop

    David Kriel – Western Province, winger

    Rewan Kruger – Free State, scrumhalf

    Gianni Lombard – Golden Lions, fullback

    Nathan McBeth - Golden Lions, prop

    Salmaan Moerat (captain) – Western Province, lock

    Sihle Njezula – Western Province, winger

    Ruan Nortje – Blue Bulls, lock

    Asenathi Ntlabakanye – Golden Lions, prop

    Rikus Pretorius – Western Province, centre

    Manuel Rass – Golden Lions, centre

    Sazi Sandi – Western Province, prop

    Dian Schoonees – Golden Lions, looseforward

    Wandisile Simelane – Golden Lions, centre

    PJ Steenkamp – Golden Lions, looseforward

    Alulutho Tshakweni – Eastern Province, prop

    Muller Uys – Western Province, looseforward

    Tiaan van der Merwe – Golden Lions, prop

    Damian Willemse – Western Province, flyhalf

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