Junior Boks set to duel Maties

2016-05-17 08:37
Dawie Theron (Gallo)

Cape Town - Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron made seven changes to his starting team to face the Maties Under-20 Invitational side on Tuesday night.

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 flyhalf/fullback combination.

“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


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