Junior Boks name line-up for Under-20 Six Nations Summer Series final against Wales

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Bafana Nhleko (Gallo Images)
Bafana Nhleko (Gallo Images)
Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

The Junior Springboks will take on Wales in Under-20 Six Nations Summer Series final on Tuesday evening in Treviso, Italy with head coach Bafana Nhleko making several changes to the team that dispatched France last week.

The match, which kicks off at 21:00, will be broadcast on SuperSport and streamed via www.springboks.rugby.

South Africa will field a new front row in the form of Corne Lavanga, Corne Weilbach (props) and Lukhanyo Vokozela (hooker). 

In-form No 8, Cameron Hanekom drops out through injury, and he is replaced by Louw Nel, with Siya Ningiza and Gcino Mdletshe providing loose forward cover on the bench.  

The only change in the backs sees Nico Steyn in the No 9 jumper ahead of Neil le Roux, who drops to the bench. 

Nhleko said the Junior Boks were mentally recharged and ready for Tuesday’s big clash.

“While we’ve managed to win three games, there is a feeling within the group that we have not played to our true potential,” said Nhleko.

“We have a sharp focus on getting our detail right, because if we do that, then I believe we can increase our intensity and accuracy. Wales are a very well-coached and tactically astute side, and they showed their big-match temperament by beating a good Italian team in front of their home fans.”

Apart from the enforced change at No 8, the coach described the other changes as part of the overall plan.

“By the end of the tournament we would have played four very physical matches inside the space of just over three weeks, and we have worked to a plan to rotate the squad so we could manage the load of the players throughout the Series, as well as give all players an opportunity to play,” he said.

“Our bench and those not in the match day squad all know they have a specific job to perform, and I must add they have done that superbly, to provide quality opposition for the starting team during our training sessions.”

Meanwhile, Nhleko cautioned that Wales would be an extremely tough nut to crack in Tuesday’s late evening kick-off.

“We know what they will bring - they have a formidable team, a good kicking game and serious pace out wide - so our defensive effort will have to be top-class on the day, and we must take our opportunities on attack.

“However, we have prepared well and are looking forward to the game. The boys are in a good space, and they see this game as another opportunity for an improved performance,” said Nhleko.

Junior Springbok team to face Wales:

15 Donovan Don (Griffons), 14 Katlego Letebele (Bulls), 13 Ethan James (vice-captain, WP), 12 Suleiman Hartzenberg (WP), 11 Imad Khan (WP), 10 Sacha Mngomezulu (captain, WP), 9 Nico Steyn (Lions), 8 Louw Nel (WP), 7 Ruan Venter (Lions), 6 Paul de Villiers (WP), 5 Reinhardt Ludwig (vice-captain, Bulls), 4 Connor Evans (WP), 3 Corne Weilbach (WP), 2 Lukhanyo Vokozela (WP), 1 Corné Lavagna (Bulls)

Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Lange (Bulls), 17 Juann Else (Bulls), 18 Sivu Mabece (Bulls), 19 Merwe Olivier (Bulls), 20 Siya Ningiza (Sharks), 21 Neil le Roux (Bulls), 22 Duran Koevort (WP), 23 Latica Nela (SA Rugby Sevens), 24. Lamla Nunu (WP), 25 Corné Rahl (Sharks), 26 Gcino Mdletshe (Bulls)

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