16th May 2016
Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron made seven changes to his starting team to face the Maties Under-20 Invitational side on Tuesday night in their second warm-up match leading up to the World Rugby U20 Championship.
The tournament will be hosted in Manchester, England, from 7 to 25 June, with the Junior Springboks facing Japan, Argentina and France in the pool stages of the tournament.
The clash against Maties’ juniors will kick off at 18h30 on Tuesday at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch.
The changes to the team that faced the Xerox Golden Lions Under-20 Invitational squad last week will see utility back Manie Libbok moving from flyhalf to fullback, with former SA Schools flyhalf Curwin Bosch earning a start at pivot.
Centre JT Jackson and scrumhalf Marco Jansen van Vuren, who are the only survivors of last year’s World Rugby U20 Championship squad, have also been handed starts, which will see Franco Naude and Embrose Papier start on the bench.
Theron retained the loose trio of No 8 Junior Pokomela and flankers Ernst van Rhyn and Zain Davids, but he named a new front row of props Franco van den Berg and Jaco Holtzhausen and hooker Tango Balekile. The other change in the tight five was at lock where Cobus Wiese will pair up with Eduard Zandberg in the engine room.
Locks Eli Snyman and Ruben de Villiers were not available for selection as they are recovering from injuries, while scrumhalf James Hall is on Vodacom Super Rugby duty for the Southern Kings.
“We are still in the process of testing player combinations, so we have made a few changes to the side,” said Theron.
“Manie and Curwin are both flyhalves and they are exciting playmakers, so I decided to rotate them and see what they have to offer as a flyhalf/fullback combination.
“I am also looking forward to seeing what impact the new front row will have in the match.”
Looking ahead at the match, Theron expected Maties to provide a tough test.
“We selected this match as our second warm-up match because we knew Maties would test us, and hopefully we will be able to raise our game from last week’s performance against the Xerox Golden Lions Under-20 Invitational side,” said Theron.
“We created several chances which we did not convert into points last week and we slipped up on defence at times, so hopefully we will improve in those areas on Tuesday.”
Junior Springbok squad vs Maties:
15 Manie Libbok – Vodacom Blue Bulls
14 S’busiso Nkosi – Cell C Sharks
13 Jeremy Ward (captain)- Eastern Province
12 JT Jackson – Vodacom Blue Bulls
11 Mosolwa Mafuma – Toyota Free State
10 Curwin Bosch – Cell C Sharks
9 Marco Jansen van Vuren – Xerox Golden Lions
8 Junior Pokomela – Eastern Province
7 Ernst van Rhyn – DHL Western Province
6 Zain Davids – DHL Western Province
5 Eduard Zandberg – DHL Western Province
4 Cobus Wiese – DHL Western Province
3 Jaco Holtzhausen- Vodacom Blue Bulls
2 Tango Balekile – Eastern Province
1 Franco van den Berg – Vodacom Blue Bulls
16 Kwenzo Blose – Toyota Free State
17 Carlü Sadie – DHL Western Province
18 Nicolaas Oosthuizen – Eastern Province
19 Denzel Hill – Vodacom Blue Bulls
20 Embrose Papier – Vodacom Blue Bulls
21 Edwill van der Merwe – DHL Western Province
22 Stedman Gans – Vodacom Blue Bulls
23 Franco Naude – Vodacom Blue Bulls
24 Keanu Vers – Eastern Province