Cape Town - The testing of player
combinations will be one of Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux’s main
goals for the U20 International Series, which kicks off against
Georgia’s Under-20s at Paarl Gymnasium on Tuesday.
Roux named six capped Junior
Springbok players in his 28-man squad for the match, in Rikus Pretorius,
David Coetzer and Asenathi Ntlabakanye, who are in the starting XV, and
Phendulani Buthelezi, Nkosikhona Masuku and
David Kriel, who were named among the replacements.
All six of them featured for
the SA U20s last year, although Masuku and Kriel did not travel to the
World Rugby U20 Championship in the south of France.
The new law trials make
provision for match-day squads of 28 players, although only eight of the
replacements can be used on the day.
Argentina – hosts of the World Rugby U20 Championship in Rosario and
Sante Fe from 4 to 22 June – will meet a
senior Namibia XV in the opening match of the U20 International Series
at Paarl Gymnasium at 14h15 before the Junior Springboks take on Georgia
With Roux’s team set to face
Georgia in their second World Rugby U20 Championship pool match on
Saturday, 8 June, this encounter will offer the players a taste of what
to expect in Rosario.
Roux was pleased with the
prospect of naming an expanded squad and said: “Team selection was not
very difficult because 30 players were in camp and we could select 28 of
them according to the new law trials.
“The main thing for us in this
game will be to see which player combinations work the best, and if we
are on the right track in terms of our tactical play.”
Roux expected a tough test
from the physical Georgian outfit, and said: “If we are not ready for
this challenge it is going to be a rude awakening.
“Georgia did very well in the
World Rugby U20 Championship last year and their rugby is improving.
They also have a great scrum and pack of forwards, which they base they
game plan on, so it is going to be a real test
for our guys, and we need to be ready for it.”
Commenting on what he would
like to achieve from the match other than trying out player
combinations, Roux said: “We have worked on a few aspects of our game
this year, and our kicking game and defence is a little bit
different to what we have done in the past, so we would like to track
our progress in that regard in particular.”
The Junior Springboks will
meet the Namibia XV in the second round of the U20 International Series
at Tygerberg Rugby Club in Cape Town on Saturday, 13 April, and
Argentina in the final round on Wednesday, 17 April,
at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch.
All three rounds of matches will be streamed live on
DSTV Now, SS YouTube and SS.com.
The Junior Springboks will
face England and Wales on a warm-up tour to the UK after the U20
International Series where their preparations will continue for the
World Rugby U20 Championship.
team will open up their World Rugby U20 Championship campaign against
Scotland on Tuesday, 4 June, before taking on Georgia (Saturday, 8 June)
and New Zealand (Wednesday, 12 June).
The semi-finals will be contested on Monday, 17 June, and the final on
Saturday, 22 June.
Junior Springbok squad to face Georgia U20:
15 Qamani Kota (Blue Bulls), 14 Caleb Dingaan (Sharks), 13 Mnombo Zwelendaba (Western Province), 12 Rikus Pretorius (Western Province), 11 Thaakir Abrahams (Sharks), 10 David Coetzer (Western Province), 9 Jaden Hendrikse (Sharks), 8 Francke Horn (captain, Western Province), 7 Celimpilo Gumede (Sharks), 8 Sibusiso Sangweni (Golden Lions), 5 Elrigh Louw (Free State), 4 Lunga Ncube (Sharks), 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye
(Golden Lions), 2 Dameon Venter
(Golden Lions), 1 Kudzwai Dube (Blue Bulls)
16 Joe van Zyl (Blue Bulls),17 Hanro Jacobs (Sharks), 18 Nkosikhona Masuku (Golden Lions), 19 Janko Swanepoel
(Blue Bulls), 20
Jaco Labuschagne (Blue Bulls), 21
Evan Roos (Sharks), 22 Vusile Dlepu (Western Province), 23 Sabastiaan Jobb (Blue Bulls), 24
Phendulani Buthelezi (Sharks), 25 James Mollentze (Free State), 26 Jay Cee Nel
(Blue Bulls), 27 Marnus Potgieter
(Blue Bulls), 28 David Kriel (Western Province)