Cape Town - Three
capped World Rugby U20 Championship players, Rikus Pretorius, David Coetzer and
Phendulani Buthelezi, are among 34 players named in a Junior Springbok training
squad that will assemble in Stellenbosch next week.
also includes two players who were involved in the Junior Springbok warm-up
games last season, namely David Kriel and Nkosikhona Masuku. All five of them
were part of the SA Rugby Academy squad that first got together early in
February at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS).
training camp, which forms part of the SA Rugby Academy programme, will run
from Monday, 1 April to Thursday, 18 April, and will feature three friendlies
as part of the Under 20 International Series. The Junior Boks will face the
Argentina and Georgian U20s and a senior Namibian XV.
Buthelezi and Fezokuhle Mbatha have been included in the squad, they will
continue with their Super Rugby commitments for the Sharks.
narrowed down the group that we have been working with at the SA Rugby Academy
in the last two months because it is easier to work with a smaller squad, but
the door remains open for players outside of this group to play their way into
contention for places in the squad,” said Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux.
three matches lined up in the U20 International Series and then we will face
England and Wales on the Junior Springboks warm-up tour to the UK, so there is
still a long way to go before we finalise our World Rugby U20 Championship
squad that will travel to Argentina.”
will assemble on Sunday to begin their preparations for their opening match in
the U20 International Series against Georgia on Tuesday, April 9. They will
face the Argentina U20’s and Namibian XV on Saturday, April 13, and Wednesday, April 17, respectively.
looking forward to these matches because it will be the first real test for the
players since the SA Rugby Academy started,” said Roux.
“We had a
few training sessions and training games in the last two months, but these
matches will expose the players to proper international competition, which will
give them a taste of what to expect in Argentina.”
team set to play five international friendlies in the lead-up to the World
Rugby U20 Championship, Roux believes it would serve as good preparation for
his charges going into the international spectacle.
matches are vital to prepare the team as well as possible for the challenge
they will face in Argentina,” said Roux.
exposing the players to the type of competition they will face in the World
Rugby U20 Championship, it offers us similar preparation to the Northern
Hemisphere teams, who participate in the U20 Six Nations in February and March.
also give us the opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t in terms of our
structures, and to ensure that we are on the right track before we depart for
The Junior Springboks will kick off their World
Rugby U20 Championship campaign against Scotland on Tuesday, 4 June, before
taking on Georgia (Saturday, 8 June) and New Zealand (Wednesday, 12 June) in
the pool stages. The semi-finals will be contested on Monday, 17 June, and the
final on Saturday, 22 June.
Springbok training squad (in alphabetical order):
Phendulani Buthelezi (Sharks)
David Coetzer (Western Province)
Caleb Dingaan (Sharks)
Vusile Dlepu (Western Province)
Celimpilo Gumede (Sharks)
Francke Horn (Western
Hanro Jacobs (Sharks)
Sabastian Jobb (Blue Bulls)
Qamani Kota (Blue Bulls)
David Kriel (Western Province)
Labuschagne (Blue Bulls)
Elrigh Louw (Free State)
JJ van der Mescht
James Mollentze (Free State)
Lunga Ncube (Sharks)
Jay Cee Nel (Blue Bulls)
Asenathi Ntlabakanye (Golden Lions)
Marnus Potgieter (Blue Bulls)
Rikus Pretorius (Western Province)
Dylan Richardson (Sharks)
Evan Roos (Sharks)
Sibusiso Sangweni (Golden Lions)
Janko Swanepoel (Blue Bulls)
Emile van Heerden (Sharks)
Joe van Zyl
Dameon Venter (Golden Lions)
Mnombo Zwelendaba (Western Province)