Junior Boks Squad Announced

Junior Springboks coach Dawie Theron has confirmed his starting line-up for the first of two matches against the Argentina Under-20 team in Santa Fe, to be played on Tuesday.  The clash at the Universitario Rugby Club will kick off at 19:30 SA time (Argentina -5 hours) and the two countries will meet for a second time on Saturday in Rosario.  Both sides are using the two-match series as final preparations for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship taking place in Italy next month.

Western Province loose forward Rikus Bothma will captain the Junior Boks team who are starting to get a familiar look after two training outings against the Western Province Rugby Institute and an earlier run out against the Varsity Cup Dream Team.  Theron opted to rest Hanro Liebenberg (number eight) and Dan Du Preez (flank), who are both nursing minor niggles.  The Junior Boks coach said he expects a typical, uncompromising encounter from the Los Pumitas:  ‘Argentina thrive on strong forward play and they also have a great kicking game.  They are playing at home in front of their passionate fans so we will have to be switched on from the start.’

According to the coach he will give every squad member a taste of action in the two tour matches:  ‘Every player will get a chance to play, including Hanro and Dan who we are resting for this match as precaution.  We know from previous Under-20 Championship campaigns that your full squad of 28 players must be involved, and that is something we will simulate on this tour.  I am very pleased with our training session of yesterday and now we must start on a good, high tempo against a tough opponent.’

The Junior Springbok team to play against the Los Pumitas on Tuesday in Santa Fe are:

15. Malcolm Jaer (EP Kings)
14. Grant Hermanus (DHL Western Province)
13. JT Jackson (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
12. Daniel Du Plessis (Western Province)
11. Leolin Zas (Western Province)
10. Ernst Stapelberg (Western Province)
9. Marco Janse van Vuuren (Xerox Golden Lions)
8. Jean-Luc Du Preez (Cell C Sharks)
7. Jacques Vermeulen (Western Province)
6. Rikus Bothma (captain, Western Province)
5. Jason Jenkins (Blue Bulls)
4. Abongile Nonkontwana (Blue Bulls)
3.  Thomas Du Toit (Sharks)
2. Joseph Dweba (Toyota Free State Cheetahs)
1. Ox Nche (Free State Cheetahs)

Replacements:

16. Mzamo Majola (Sharks)
17. Jan Van Der Merwe (Blue Bulls)
18. Frans Van Wyk (Western Province)
19. Hyron Andrews (Sharks)
20. CJ Velleman (EP Kings)
21. Ivan Van Zyl (Blue Bulls)
22. Brandon Thomson (Western Province)
23. Warrick Gelant (Blue Bulls)

Photo credit: Thys Lombard