Cape Town - Chean Roux has named a new-look team for the Junior Springboks’ second warm-up match, against the Griquas in Kimberley on Wednesday, as he looks to give all the players in the squad a chance to prove their worth.
The match-23, which features several players who were either on the bench against the Griffons or did not play at all, also includes four Varsity Cup players, who joined the squad on Tuesday morning. They are Manie Libbok, Wikus Groenewald, Len Massyn and Reinhard Nothnagel.
Only five players in the run-on team started in the clash against the Griffons, namely lock Salmaan Moerat, flyhalf Benhard Janse van Rensburg, wing Mfundo Ndhlovu, flanker Nama Xaba, and Hendre Stassen, who moves from flanker to lock. Hooker Johan Grobbelaar will captain the team.
“The purpose of these warm-up matches is to allow the players a fair opportunity to show us what they have to offer and for us to try out player combinations, so this team was always going to look different to the Griffons side,” explained Roux.
“Most of the players starting this week were either on the bench or were not selected for the first game, and some of the players have joined us from the Varsity Cup, and we are excited to see what they have to offer.
“This match and Saturday’s clash against the Free State Cheetahs are the only matches we have left to see what the players can do before we finalise our squad of 28 for the World Rugby U20 Championship, so the players know that they have to make the most of this opportunity.”
Roux is expecting a challenging test against the Griquas, and he reiterated that the implementation of the structures would be the main focus in the match.
“Our goals for this match are the same as that against the Griffons, to test certain structures that we have worked on at training in a game situation,” said Roux.
“We intentionally chose matches against tough opposition in the lead-up to the tournament to test the players and our structures in a challenging environment, so that we are prepared both mentally and physically for the World Championship.”
The match between the Junior Springboks and Griquas will kick off at 18h00. The SA U20s’ final warm up is against the Free State Cheetahs at Shimla Park on Saturday at 15h00.
The Junior Springboks will face France, Georgia and Argentina in the pool stages of the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 31 May, 4 June and 8 June respectively.
15 Jean-Luc Cilliers (Golden Lions), 14 Manie Libbok (Blue Bulls), 13 Wandisile Simelane (Golden Lions), 12 David Brits (Western Province) 11 Mfundo Ndhlovu (Sharks), 10 Benhard Janse van Rensburg (Sharks), 9 Jondre Williams (Western Province), 8 Juarno Augustus (Western Province), 7 Muller Uys (Western Province), 6 Nama Xaba (Western Province), 5 Hendre Stassen (Blue Bulls), 4 Salmaan Moerat (Western Province), 3 Carlu Sadie (Western Province), 2 Johan Grobbelaar (captain, Blue Bulls), 1 Gerhard Steenekamp (Blue Bulls)
Substitutes: 16 Wikus Groenewald (Western Province), 17 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko (Western Province), 18 Marnus van der Merwe (Free State Cheetahs), 19 Reinhard Nothnagel (Golden Lions), 20 Len Massyn (Golden Lions), 21 Embrose Papier (Blue Bulls), 22 Damian Willemse (Western Province), 23 Wayne van der Bank (Golden Lions)