South Africa name Under-20 rugby squad

2011-05-06 10:49

Springbok Sevens newcomers Paul Jordaan and Tshotsho Mbovane were today included in the South Africa Under-20 squad that was announced by the South African Rugby Union (Saru) to compete in next month’s IRB Junior World Championship in Italy.

Former Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Affies) loose forward Arno Botha will captain the squad, which includes three players that represented the Baby Boks during last year’s IRB Junior World Championships in Argentina.

Blue Bulls centre Francois Venter, Golden Lions winger Wandile Mjekevu and Western Province flank Siyamthanda Kolisi are all survivors of the team that collected bronze during last year’s tournament.

Jordaan made a promising Sevens debut for the Boks in January at the New Zealand Sevens in Wellington, while Mbovane made his debut at the Hong Kong Sevens.

Both players also represented the SA Under-18 High Performance squads during last year’s international friendlies against England U18s and France U18s.

Several players that competed in this season’s Vodacom Cup such as Free State Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen and hooker Michael van Vuuren and Blue Bulls wing Courtnall Skosan also have been included in the SA U20 squad.

The national selectors announced a squad of 25 players after Western Province and UCT Ikeys scrumhalf Ricky Schroeder fractured his leg during a club training session yesterday.

A replacement scrumhalf will be announced at a later stage.

“We’re playing five matches in 16 days, so it was important for the national selectors to find a fine balance in their selections; we’ve retained a few players who competed during last year’s IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina which will provide their teammates with a bit of insight as to what will be expected of them during a tournament like this,” said SA U20 coach Dawie Theron.

“There are a couple of guys who have been exposed to the experience of international rugby after competing in this season’s HSBC Sevens World Series. Then there are a number of players who represented their provincial unions in our local competitions – the Vodacom Cup and the Varsity Cup.

“We’ve won the bronze during the last three IRB Junior World Championships, and one of our goals this season as a team will be to better that record. We have selected a talented group of South African Under-20 players who I am sure are now excited about hearing confirmation of their inclusion in the squad.

“They have the temperament to do well, and I am sure they will be aiming to make themselves and our country proud against the best junior players on the international stage. The players know that they could use this IRB Junior World Championship as a great stepping stone for announcing themselves on the international stage,” added Theron.

South Africa U20 Squad & Team Management:

Backs: Craig Barry (Western Province) Ulrich Beyers (Blue Bulls), Johan Goosen (Free State), Paul Jordaan (KwaZulu-Natal), Tshotsho Mbovane (Western Province) Wandile Mjekevu (Golden Lions), Pieter Rademan (Free State) Courtnall Skosan (Blue Bulls), Jaco Taute (Golden Lions), Francois Venter (Blue Bulls), Johan Welthagen (Leopards)

Forwards: Arno Botha (Blue Bulls) - captain, Nizaam Carr (Western Province), Jean Cook (Free State), Cornell du Preez (Leopards), Eben Etzebeth (Western Province), John Roy Jenkinson (Leopards), Siyamthanda Kolisi (Western Province), Stephan Kotze (Free State), Francois Kleinhans (KwaZulu-Natal) Mbongeni Mbonambi (Blue Bulls), Nic Schonert (KwaZulu-Natal), Juan Schoeman (Blue Bulls), Michael van Vuuren (Free State), Ruan Venter (Golden Lions)

Coaching staff: Dawie Theron (Head coach), Eric Sauls (Assistant coach), Pine Pienaar (Assistant coach).

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