Cape Town - Junior Springbok flanker Zain
Davids is relishing every moment of participating in the World Rugby Under-20
Championship in Manchester, which he rates as the highlight of his rugby career
The former Rondebosch Boys’ High
School pupil, who started playing rugby on the pavements of Swellendam as a
young boy, had a memorable start to the tournament. He was named Man of the
Match in the team’s opening clash against Japan, thanks to his powerful bursts
up-field and his solid defence.
Davids, who made the switch from
centre to flank at school level, was also rewarded for his efforts with two
tries and the honour of being named World Rugby’s Dream Team after the opening
round of the tournament.
“It was an absolute honour to be
named Man of the Match, and it was great to score two tries in the first
match,” said Davids.
“But while I will always remember
that, we have a long way to go to achieve our objectives of advancing to the
final and winning the tournament, and that is my only focus at this point.”
Davids admitted that while he had
dreamed of representing the Junior Springboks one day, it was a pleasant
surprise when he was named in the squad.
The physical player graduated to
the Junior Springbok side from the SA Schools team, and he admitted that the
Under-18 International Series and Coca-Cola Craven Week last year prepared him
well for the World Rugby U20 Championship.
"I grew up playing rugby in the
streets, and I have loved playing the game since then,” said Davids.
“At school I started playing at a
more competitive level, and this was capped off with our 95-0 victory against
Eastern Province in the Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week and then playing for the
SA Schools team last year. But being selected for the World Champs is
definitely the highlight of my career up to now.
“Representing one’s country at
the highest level is one of the greatest privileges in life, so I have been
enjoying every minute of being part of the team and participating in the
“And I will continue to cherish
each day of the tournament. Hopefully we can build on the victory against Japan
on Saturday when we face Argentina, and play to our potential throughout the
tournament, so we can lift the trophy.”
The Junior Springboks returned to
the training field on Thursday following a recovery day on Wednesday, and had
two field training sessions to prepare for the clash against Argentina. They
will have their captains run on Friday, when Junior Springbok coach Dawie
Theron will also name his team to face Argentina.