Junior Springbok vice-captain Junior Pokomela on Sunday said his team was ready to make their mark at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester, England, as they prepare to take on Japan in their opening match on Tuesday.
The team had two hard training sessions in the warm sunny weather in Manchester on Sunday and a recovery session in the swimming pool, and will conclude their preparations for the match on Monday at the Academy Stadium with their captains run.
“We have had two days to recover from the journey to Manchester, and a few training sessions to get back into the swing of things and regain our focus,” said Pokomela. “Today’s training sessions were of a very high intensity and it is clear that the players are focused and ready to make their presence felt.
“The mood in the camp is very serious with the opening match drawing closer,” he added. “The players realise the importance of starting the tournament well. We are determined to make the country proud.”
The Junior Springboks will face Argentina in their next pool match on Saturday, 11 June, and will conclude the round-robin stages against France on Wednesday, 15 June.
The semi-finals will be played on 20 June and the Final on 25 June.
“Our approach is to take each game in our stride, so our only focus at this stage is the match against Japan,” said Pokomela. “We need to build confidence and momentum in the competition, and the only way to achieve that is to get off to a strong start. If we can achieve that, we will have a solid base to build from.”
Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron will announce his squad to face Japan on Monday.