Schools XV face strong France pack

2011-08-20 00:00

THE South African Schools XV will be playing against France as a curtain raiser to the Tri-Nations Test against the All Blacks in Port Elizabeth this afternoon. The French team last year was billed as an U18 side but this year is an U19 team.

They were seen last Saturday against the SA Academy side, which had been selected at the Academy week from those players who were not at Craven Week. They were outplayed in the scrums particularly and to the loose ball.

Two players originally selected have since been injured in school games and have been replaced for the match today. Wing Ruwellyn Isbel of Grey College is replaced by JP Lewis of Paul Roos. Flyhalf Jaco van der Walt of Monument is replaced by Pieter Jordaan of Grey College.

All three tries scored by the SA Academy team last Saturday were by the two centres, and the SA Schools team may be wise to use their backs for most of their thrusts across the gain line. It is likely that the forwards will also be outplayed and it will be wise to keep the ball away from the heavier French tight five.

The Grey College duo in the centre positions, Dries Swanepoel and Jan Serfontein, have great promise with their skill and pace. The flyhalf position will be started with Tim Sweil of Bishops in the pivotal role with Jordaan starting on the bench.

The SA Schools side will do well to win against the big, strong and cohesive French team.

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