Cape Town - Zain Davids and Stedman Gans, who missed the Junior Springboks’ first two training camps because of Springbok Sevens commitments, have been included in a 35-man squad that will assemble in Stellenbosch on Tuesday for the team’s third training camp, which concludes on Thursday, May 18.
Four players currently involved in Super Rugby - Curwin Bosch (Sharks), Cobus Wiese (Stormers), Madosh Tambwe (Lions) and Yaw Penxe (Southern Kings) are set to join the squad on Sunday, May 7, while Khuta Mchunu and Ernst van Rhyn will fall in with the squad in Stellenbosch as soon as they have sufficiently recovered from their various injuries.
The Junior Springboks will face the Varsity Cup Dream Team on Tuesday, April 25 in their fourth warm-up match, while another game against a local outfit is being planned for May 9.
“This camp will allow us to have a final look at the players with an eye on finalising our touring squad, and it will also serve as the last opportunity to get everything in place for the tournament,” said coach Chean Roux.
“In line with this we opted to extend the camp for another week after our initial planning was to wrap it up on May 12.
“We have had very little time to work with some of the Vodacom Super Rugby players, while Zain, Stedman and Curwin Bosch, all three members of the Junior Bok squad last year, have not been with us at all up to now, so we will have an opportunity to see how they adapt to the structures.
“With a handful of players being in-and-out of the first two camps due to Vodacom Super Rugby, Blitzbok and Varsity Cup duty, it is important that we take the necessary time to name the best possible squad to travel to Georgia.”
Roux said other vital elements of the camp would be to ensure that all the required structures are in place and that the team is ready for the international spectacle.
“We did most of the groundwork at the first two camps, which we will build on at this camp,” said Roux.
“There were also a few things that we did not have sufficient time to work on at the last two camps, such as our set pieces, and this camp will afford us the necessary time to do so.
“Although I was pleased with the progress made by the squad since the first camp, we still have a long way to go to reach the standard of play which I would like us to display in Georgia. So we have hard work ahead in the next few weeks.”
The SA Under-20s will conclude their preparations for the international spectacle at their holding camp in Stellenbosch from May 21-25. They will face France, Georgia and Argentina in the pool stages of the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia, on May 31, June 4 and June 8, respectively.
Junior Boks training squad: Juarno Augustus - Western Province, Kwenzo Blose - Free State Cheetahs,
PJ Botha - Golden Lions,
David Brits - Western Province,
Jean-Luc Cilliers - Golden Lions,
Zain Davids - Western Province,
Hacjivah Dayimani - Golden Lions,
Francois de Villiers - Sharks,
Ruben de Villiers - Western Province,
Gans - Blue Bulls,
Johan Grobbelaar - Blue Bulls,
Wikus Groenewald - Western Province,
Benhard Janse van Rensburg - Sharks,
Daniel Jooste - Western Province,
Rewan Kruger - Free State Cheetahs,
Manie Libbok - Blue Bulls,
Gianni Lombard - Golden Lions,
Len Massyn - Golden Lions,
Lee-Marvin Mazibuko - Western Province,
Salmaan Moerat - Western Province,
Reinhard Nothnagel - Golden Lions,
Embrose Papier - Blue Bulls,
Manuel Rass - Golden Lions,
Carlu Sadie - Western Province,
Wandisile Simelane - Golden Lions,
Cornel Smit - Western Province,
Hendre Stassen - Blue Bulls,
Gerhard Steenekamp - Blue Bulls,
Muller Uys - Western Province,
Wayne van der Bank - Golden Lions,
Ruben van Heerden - Blue Bulls,
Boan Venter - Free State Cheetahs,
Damian Willemse - Western Province,
Jondre Williams - Western Province,
Nama Xaba - Western Province