And Then There Was 36

PARMA, ITALY - JUNE 04: Marco Jansen van Vuren during the Junior Springboks training session at Stadio XXV Aprile on June 04, 2015 in Parma, Italy. (Photo by Roger Sedres/Gallo Images)
PARMA, ITALY - JUNE 04: Marco Jansen van Vuren during the Junior Springboks training session at Stadio XXV Aprile on June 04, 2015 in Parma, Italy. (Photo by Roger Sedres/Gallo Images)

Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron on Friday named a provisional 36-man training squad as the preparations begin to take shape for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester, England, from 7 to 25 June.

Theron invited 56 players to a trials camp in Cape Town this week where they were put through their paces with fitness, skills and medical test to determine if they have what it takes to represent the Junior Springboks at the World Championship.

The trials camp concluded on Friday morning with a high-tempo training session at the City Park Stadium in Crawford.

A number of players who are nursing injuries, which have ruled them out of action for at least the next two weeks, were not considered for the provisional training group. However, they will be in contention for selection for the training squad once they have recovered.

The provisional training squad included JT Jackson (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Tinus de Beer (Vodacom Blue Bulls) and Marco Jansen van Vuren (Xerox Golden Lions), who were members of the Junior Springbok squad that earned a bronze medal in the 2015 World Rugby U20 Championship in Italy.

2014 SA Rugby Craven Week Player of the Year Curwin Bosch (Cell C Sharks) features alongside a handful of 2015 SA Schools team players including, Western Province’s Ernst van Rhyn and Carlű Sadie, and Hendre Stassen, Stedman Gans and Manie Libbok from the Vodacom Blue Bulls.

The provisional Junior Springbok training squad will play a number of training matches in the next two months, which will allow the provisional training group and the players excluded due to injury to stake a claim for a place in the final 28-man squad for the international showpiece.

“It was a challenging task to trim the expanded trials squad, especially given the high quality of the players invited to the camp,” said Theron. “There were also a number of players who could not participate in training this week due to injury, and others due to their involvement in the FNB Varsity Cup Semi-finals and finals as we wanted to avoid the risk of injuries. However, I am pleased with the group we have selected and I believe they have what it takes to form a formidable unit as our preparation progress in the next few weeks.”

The players selected for the provisional training squad will remain in Cape Town, with their training base in Stellenbosch.

Junior Springboks provisional training squad (position in brackets):

Vodacom Blue Bulls

Jan-Henning Campher (hooker)
Tinus de Beer (flyhalf)
Aston Fortuin (lock)
Stedman Gans (centre)
Denzel Hill (No 8)
Jaco Holtzhausen (prop)
JT Jackson (centre)
Manie Libbok (flyhalf)
Franco Naude (centre)

Hendre Stassen (lock)
Eli Snyman (lock)
Franco van den Berg (prop)
Luigy van Jaarsveld (No 8)

Toyota Free State Cheetahs
Mosalwa Mafuma (wing)
Kwenzo Blose (prop)

Xerox Golden Lions
Rhyno Herbst (lock)
Marco Jansen van Vuren (scrumhalf)

EP Kings
Tango Balelike (hooker)
James Hall (scrumhalf)
Nicolaas Oosthuizen (prop)
Junior Pokomela (No 8)
Keanu Vers (fullback)
Jeremy Ward (centre)

Cell C Sharks
Curwin Bosch (fullback)
Morne Joubert (fullback)
S’busiso Nkosi (wing)

DHL Western Province
Ruan Brits (hooker)
Eduan Keyter (fullback)
Duncan Saal (wing)
Carlű Sadie (prop)
Ernst van Rhyn (flank)
Eduard Zandberg (lock)
Zane Davids (flank)
Wikus Groenewald (prop)
Edwill van der Merwe (wing)
Kuyenseka Xaba (flank)

Issued by SA Rugby Corporate Affairs