Cape Town - Loose forward Muller Uys and scrumhalf Jondre Williams will join the Junior Springboks in Tbilisi, Georgia, as injury replacements for Nama Xaba and Rewan Kruger respectively.
Xaba (ankle) and Kruger (hamstring) were injured against France in the Junior Boks’ opening World Rugby U20 Championship clash on Wednesday, and will return to South Africa on Saturday.
Uys and Williams, who were both members of the Junior Springbok training squad in the lead-up to the tournament, will depart for Georgia on Saturday and are set to arrive in the country’s capital on Sunday.
“It is very unfortunate to lose players to injury so early in the competition but injuries are part of the game,” said Junior Springboks coach Chean Roux.
“I feel for the players because they have been working very hard to toward this goal for several months, and now they have to return home after the first match.
“That said, we are gaining two quality players in their places. Muller and Jondre have trained with us since the first training camp in Stellenbosch early in March, so they are familiar with our structures and systems, and their team-mates, which will make it very easy to slot in.”
The SA U20s returned to the training field on Friday to prepare for Sunday’s clash against Georgia at the Avchala Stadium following a recovery day on Thursday, and the determination in the squad to deliver a strong showing on Sunday was clear.
“We know what we are capable of as a team and we are looking forward to taking to the field against Georgia,” said Roux.
“We are obviously expecting a tough challenge against a physical team playing in front of a passionate home crowd, but we know what we need to do as a team, and we will give everything to achieve that.”
Roux will announce his match-day 23 to face Georgia on Saturday.
Sunday’s match will kick off at 16:00 (SA time) and will be broadcast live on SuperSport 1.
The Junior Springboks will face Argentina in their final pool match on Thursday, June 8. The semi-finals are scheduled for Tuesday, June 13, and the final for Sunday, June 18.