Cape Town - Junior Springbok captain Ernst van Rhyn hopes to see his team continue building on the character they showed in their opening three World Rugby Under-20 Championship matches when they face England in the semi-final on Tuesday, and he vowed that the team would give their best in the clash.
The SA Under-20’s booked their place in the final stages with a 72-14 victory against Argentina in their final pool match on Thursday, after opening up the competition with a 23-23 draw against Under-20 Six Nations runners up France and following this up with a 38-14 victory against hosts Georgia.
With the countdown to the semi-final well underway, Van Rhyn said on Sunday the team expected to a tough test against England.
“As a team we are in a good mental space and we’ve built up nicely in the first three games,” said Van Rhyn.
“But England are the defending champions and they are a great team again this year, so we will have to work hard and ensure that we are at the top of our game to win the semi-final. All we can do now is to prepare as well as possible, and come Tuesday, to give our best.”
Asked what he hoped to see from this team in the semi-final, the former SA Schools captain and 2016 SA Under-20 vice-captain said: “We showed a lot of character in the pool stages of the tournament, and I would like to see the guys build on that and to remember what we stand for as a team. I cannot ask more than for each player and the management team to give their best.”
Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux will announce his match-23 to face England at the M. Meskhi Stadium on Monday.
The match will kick off at 16:00 (SA time) and will be broadcast live on SuperSport 1 (Channel 201).
New Zealand will face France in the second semi-final, which starts at 18:30 (SA time).