Cape Town - Stormers flyhalf Damian Willemse will start in the Junior
Springboks’ No 10 jersey on Saturday against the Free State Cheetahs in
their final warm-up match on their training camp as coach Chean Roux continues
his player rotation policy.
With Roux set to name his 28-man squad to travel to Georgia
for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in two weeks’ time, the SA Under-20 coach stuck
to his plan to give all the players in the squad a chance to stake a claim for
a place in the final squad.
Only three players named in the starting team were in the
run-on side against the Griffons on Wednesday, namely Manie Libbok,
who moves from wing to fullback, Wandisile Simelane, who switches from centre
to wing and David Brits, who will start at outside centre.
Flank Nama Xaba, who will lead the team, was initially
named in the squad to play in Welkom, but he was forced to withdraw before the
match due to illness.
The 26-man match-day squad includes five players who were
members of the Junior Springbok squad that travelled to Manchester last year.
They are Libbok, Embrose Papier, Ruben de Villiers, Kwenzo Blose and Carlu
“Our plan from the outset was to give everyone a fair chance
to play, and we are excited to see what these players have to offer against a
quality Cheetahs outfit,” said Roux.
“This match will serve as a tough test from a physical and
mental point of view, and that was our objective as we look to test the players
under pressure while at the same time preparing them for what they can expect
Papier will pair up with Willemse, who made his debut for
the Stormers in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition last month, at halfback.
Western Province prop Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, meanwhile,
will start alongside the Free State Cheetahs duo of prop Blose and
hooker Marnus van der Merwe in the front row, while De Villiers joins forces
with Reinhard Nothnagel in the engine room. The loose trio will feature No 8
Len Massyn and flanks Hacjivah Dayimani and Xaba.
Roux is expecting a physical battle against the Free
State Cheetahs, and said the match would serve as a solid test for his team.
“The battle up-front is going to be big as the Cheetahs have
named a very physical pack, but they also have a classy backline, so we need to
deliver a quality performance in all the areas of our game,” said Roux.
“We were tested on defence in the last two matches, and we
expect another big challenge in this department against the Cheetahs. We still
have a lot of work to do on our set pieces, but this match will offer the
perfect opportunity to measure where we are in that regard. We know we will
have our work cut out against the Cheetahs, but we are looking forward to the
The match will kick off at 15:00 at Shimla Park and entrance
van der Spuy, 14 JW Jonker, 13 Ali Mgijima, 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Rayno
Benjamin, 10 Ryno Eksteen, 9 Ruan van Rensburg, 8 Steven Meiring, 7 Junior
Pokamela, 6 Boom Prinsloo (captain), 5 Hilton Lobberts, 4 Justin Basson, 3
Stephan Kotze, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Danie Minnie
16 Abri Coetzee, 17 Kevin Stevens, 18 Sibabalo Quma, 19
Ntokozo Vidima, 20 Phumzile Maqondwana, 21 JP Smith, 22 Jarik van Der Walt, 23 Muller Joubert, 24 Sechaba Matsoele
15 Manie Libbok - Blue Bulls, 14 Wandisile
Simelane - Golden Lions, 13
Brits - Western Province, 12
Smit - Western Province, 11
Mukendi - Sharks, 10
Willemse - Western Province, 9
Papier - Blue Bulls,
Massyn - Golden Lions, 7
Dayimani - Golden Lions, 6
Xaba - Western Province, 5
Nothnagel - Golden Lions, 4
Villiers - Western Province, 3
Mazibuko - Western Province, 2
van der Merwe - Free State Cheetahs, 1
Blose - Free State Cheetahs
Substitutes: 16 PJ Botha
- Golden Lions, 17
Groenewald - Western Province, 18
Sadie - Western Province, 19
Coetzee - Free State Cheetahs, 20
Uys - Western Province, 21
Augustus - Western Province, 22
Kruger - Free State Cheetahs, 23
Cilliers - Golden Lions, 24
van der Bank - Golden Lions, 25
Jooste - Western Province, 26
Venter - Free State Cheetahs