Junior Boks end World Champs with new centre pair

Chean Roux (Gallo Images)
Chean Roux (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Junior Springboks will face New Zealand in the World Rugby U20 Championship bronze playoff in Béziers on Sunday with a new centre pairing of Wandisile Simelane and Lyle Hendricks. 

Simelane switches from the left wing to centre, while Hendricks replaces Rikus Pretorius who is nursing a contusion to his leg. 

The other changes to coach Chean Roux’s starting team were at scrumhalf where Rewan Kruger partners up with David Coetzer at halfback, while Ben-Jason Dixon starts at flanker, and hooker Daniel Jooste returns after recovering from a rib injury. 

On the bench, lock Ruan Vermaak will provide cover at lock and Manuel Rass at centre. 

Zoning in on the match, Roux said his team had to be switched on from the outset to finish the tournament on a winning note and secure the bronze medal. 

“This is a big game for us,” said Roux.

“I would like to see a full 80-minute performance out there. Hopefully we can get a good start because we haven’t had a good start up to now, so that is something we need to focus on.” 

Of New Zealand, the coach said: “They are a physical side and they like to throw the ball around and play high-tempo rugby, so we need to be up for it and be ready for them. 

“That said, hopefully we can force our game plan on them in them first 20 minutes.” 

The match kicks off at 16h30 at at Stade de la Méditerranée and will be broadcast live on SuperSport 5. It will be followed by the final between tournament hosts, France, and England. 

Junior Springbok team to face New Zealand: 

15 Gianni Lombard (Golden Lions), 14 Tyrone Green (Golden Lions), 13 Wandisile Simelane (Golden Lions), 12 Lyle Hendricks (Western Province), 11 Sihle Njezula (Western Province), 10 David Coetzer (Western Province), 9 Rewan Kruger (Free State), 8 Muller Uys (Western Province), 7 Ben-Jason Dixon (Western Province), 6 Phendulani Buthelezi (Sharks), 5 Ruan Nortje (Blue Bulls), 4 Salmaan Moerat (captain, Western Province), 3 Sazi Sandi (Western Province), 2 Daniel Jooste (Western Province), 1 Alulutho Tshakweni (Eastern Province)

Substitutes: 16 Schalk Erasmus (Western Province), 17 Leon Lyons (Western Province), 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye (Golden Lions), 19 Ruan Vermaak (Golden Lions), 20 Dian Schoonees (Golden Lions), 21 Jack Hart (Golden Lions), 22 Lubabalo Dobela (Free State), 23 Manuel Rass (Golden Lions)

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