Cape Town - Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron made seven
changes to his starting team to face the Maties Under-20 Invitational side on
It will be the team’s second warm-up match leading up to the
World Rugby U20 Championship.
The tournament will be hosted in Manchester, England, from June
7 to 25, with the Junior Springboks facing Japan, Argentina and France in the
pool stages of the tournament.
The clash against Maties’ juniors will kick off at 18:30 on
Tuesday at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch.
The changes to the team that faced the Golden Lions Under-20
Invitational squad last week will see utility back Manie Libbok moving from
flyhalf to fullback, with former SA Schools flyhalf Curwin Bosch earning a
start at pivot.
Centre JT Jackson and scrumhalf Marco Jansen van Vuren, who
are the only survivors of last year’s World Rugby U20 Championship squad, have
also been handed starts, which will see Franco Naude and Embrose Papier start
on the bench.
Theron retained the loose trio of No 8 Junior Pokomela and
flankers Ernst van Rhyn and Zain Davids, but he named a new front row of props
Franco van den Berg and Jaco Holtzhausen and hooker Tango Balekile. The other
change in the tight five was at lock where Cobus Wiese will pair up with Eduard
Zandberg in the engine room.
Locks Eli Snyman and Ruben de Villiers were not available
for selection as they are recovering from injuries, while scrumhalf James Hall
is on Vodacom Super Rugby duty for the Southern Kings.
“We are still in the process of testing player combinations,
so we have made a few changes to the side,” said Theron.
“Manie and Curwin are both flyhalves and they are exciting
playmakers, so I decided to rotate them and see what they have to offer as a
“I am also looking forward to seeing what impact the new
front row will have in the match.”
Looking ahead at the match, Theron expected Maties to
provide a tough test.
“We selected this match as our second warm-up match because
we knew Maties would test us, and hopefully we will be able to raise our game
from last week’s performance against the Xerox Golden Lions Under-20
Invitational side,” said Theron.
“We created several chances which we did not convert into
points last week and we slipped up on defence at times, so hopefully we will
improve in those areas on Tuesday.”
Junior Springbok team:
15 Manie Libbok - Blue Bulls
14 S’busiso Nkosi - Sharks
13 Jeremy Ward (captain) - Eastern Province
12 JT Jackson - Blue Bulls
11 Mosolwa Mafuma - Free State
10 Curwin Bosch - Sharks
9 Marco Jansen van Vuren - Golden Lions
8 Junior Pokomela - Eastern Province
7 Ernst van Rhyn - Western Province
6 Zain Davids - Western Province
5 Eduard Zandberg - Western Province
4 Cobus Wiese - Western Province
3 Jaco Holtzhausen - Blue Bulls
2 Tango Balekile - Eastern Province
1 Franco van den Berg - Blue Bulls
16 Kwenzo Blose - Free State
17 Carlü Sadie - Western Province
18 Nicolaas Oosthuizen - Eastern Province
19 Denzel Hill - Blue Bulls
20 Embrose Papier - Blue Bulls
21 Edwill van der Merwe
- Western Province
22 Stedman Gans - Blue Bulls
23 Franco Naude - Blue Bulls
24 Keanu Vers - Eastern Province