Mindset All Important For Junior Boks At World Rugby u/20 Championship


After two months of preparing in Stellenbosch, the Junior Springboks walked into a vibrant Southern Sun Newlands on Tuesday afternoon, with staff welcoming them with song and dance as the players checked into the team hotel, their home for the forthcoming World Rugby U20 Championship.

That reality check confirmed the fact that they are in tournament week, something the squad were awaiting with anticipation and according to Junior Springboks assistant coach Lumumba Currie, a motivating factor to the group.

“We really enjoyed the welcome by the staff, it was pleasing but more importantly, it confirmed that we are only days away from playing in our first match against Georgia,” said Currie.

“Ever since the team capping a week ago, the team really switched on to the tournament and we are now counting the days until that first match.”

The Junior Boks are well aware of the punch their European opponent packs: “We looked at their videos and they are here because they deserve to be, no doubt. They are well coached and as expected from any Georgian team, good in the forwards.

“They are benefitting from playing in Europe and against various styles of play, and they are not predictable. We know that we need to be at our best if we want to start the tournament well.

“That said, your first phase play needs to be spot-on anyway if you want to be successful, so the fact that we need to overcome Georgia up front will also apply to other opponents. We want to set a strong standard in that game and make sure that we stay in control of our own destiny in the tournament.”

Currie feels the inclement weather conditions predicted for the next couple of days will impact on preparations as well as matches.

“It will impact all the teams, but we have been lucky to be training in these conditions over the last 10 days and we are used to it,” he said.

“The underfoot conditions will be a factor as the fields are going to be soft and one needs to adapt to that. I think we can expect a lot of penalties due to those conditions and one must be able to capitalise on that.”

The pressure on repeating the championship victory in 2012 is something they are aware of, but the team see it motivation, rather as a burden.

“It would be great (to repeat the success of 2012),” he said. “It was the last time we won it and the trophy has not been in South Africa since then, so there are two aspects that we can change by doing well. We have prepared well, and the team will be ready come Saturday.”

The match day squad for the Junior Boks’ tournament opener will be announced on Thursday.