Cape Town - Junior Springbok coach Chean
Roux warned his team to prepare for a physically demanding and attacking
challenge from England U20 when they face off in the first of two games
on their UK tour on Friday.
Roux made five personnel
changes to the team that started against Argentina in their final U20
International Series match in Stellenbosch last week, for the encounter
at Butts Park Arena in Coventry near Birmingham.
Two players with Vodacom Super
Rugby experience, the Cell C Sharks duo of Fezokuhle Mbatha and JJ van
der Mescht, will make their Junior Springbok on Friday, at hooker and
The other changes in the pack
are at lock, where Emile van Heerden will start next to Van der Mescht,
while Dylan Richardson will start in the loose trio next to SA U20
Phendulani Buthelezi and Francke Horn.
In the backline, Boeta Chamberlain will start at flyhalf in place of David Coetzer – who was ruled out of the tour due to a facial injury – while
Thaakir Abrahams comes in at fullback for Andrew Kota, who has been named among the replacements.
Roux said they are expecting
the hosts to pose a strong challenge: “England are a very physical team
and they have an attacking mindset. They are also well coached, so we
have to be ready for them and we have to match
According to the SA U20 coach,
his charges need to make a step up with only two international
friendlies left before they depart for Argentina for the World Rugby U20
Championship, which kicks off in June.
“With England being an
attacking team I would like to see our defence hold well, and our scrums
and lineouts will also be vital,” said Roux.
“We struggled a little in that
regard in our last match, and hopefully they can provide good
front-foot ball for the backs. I would also like to see us execute our
“We are still in the process
of trying out player combinations, so we will give a few new players a
chance in this game. That said there are still a few experienced players
in the team, so this will be a good test.”
The match, which kicks off at 20:30 (SA time) on Friday, will streamed live on Youtube and Facebook.
The Junior Springboks will
take on Wales next on Tuesday, April 30, at the Vale Resort outside
Cardiff, before returning to South Africa for another training camp in
They will depart for Rosario
on Wednesday, May 29, for their World Rugby U20 Championship campaign
where they will face Scotland (June 4), Georgia (June 8 ) and New Zealand (June 12) in the
Junior Springbok team to face England:
15 Thaakir Abrahams (Sharks), 14 Marnus Potgieter
(Blue Bulls), 13 Jay Cee Nel
(Blue Bulls), 12 Rikus Pretorius (Western Province), 11 Caleb Dingaan (Sharks), 10 Boeta Chamberlain (Sharks), 9 Jaden Hendrikse (Sharks), 8 Francke Horn (Western Province), 7 Phendulani Buthelezi (captain, Sharks), 6 Dylan Richardson (Sharks), 5 Emile van Heerden (Sharks), 4 JJ van der Mescht (Sharks), 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye
(Golden Lions, 2 Fezokuhle Mbatha (Sharks), 1 Nkosikhona Masuku (Golden Lions)
Substitutes: 16 Dameon Venter
(Lions), 17 Thabiso Mdletshe (Sharks), 18 Hanro Jacobs (Sharks), 19 Janko Swanepoel
(Blue Bulls), 20 Jaco Labuschagne (Blue Bulls), 21
Sibusiso Sangweni (Golden Lions), 22 Andrew Kota
(Blue Bulls), 23 Sanele Nohamba (Sharks).