Baby Boks prepare for opener

2000-11-27 19:11

Johannesburg - The South African Under-23 rugby squad will kick off their tour of Europe and Africa against the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Wednesday evening.

The team arrived in the Dutch capital at the weekend and the match line-up will be announced on Tuesday.

Their four-match tour also includes fixtures against Portugal in Lisbon and Tunisia in Tunis, on 2 and 9 December respectively, after which South Africa will meet Morocco in the final of the inaugural African Rugby Championship in Casablanca on 16 December.

South Africa qualified for the final after comfortably winning the south section ahead of Zimbabwe and Namibia.

With Ivory Coast withdrawing from the north section, Morocco won twice against Tunisia to book their place.

In five outings to date this year, the SA Under-23s have scored a total of 321 points while conceding just 77. In all they have scored 50 tries, an average of 10 per game, and they have given away only 10 tries.

With coach Allister Coetzee being called up to the Springbok coaching staff, assistant Ian Hattingh has taken charge of the team, assisted by EP's Alfred Mzizi, who is head coach at the Rugby Academy in Port Elizabeth.

While a number of players were called up to the Springbok squad, the Under-23 tour squad boasts strength and depth in all departments.

Two late injury replacements saw Wylie Human coming in for Jeffrey Stevens at wing and Ondela Kiva replacing Hanyani Shimange at hooker.

SA Under-23: Adri Badenhorst, De Wet Barry, Germaine Brinkhuis, Gerrie Britz,Eduard Coetzee, Tjaart Coetzee, Neil De Kock, Peter Dixon, Boela Du Plooy (capt), Coenraad Groenewald, Dean Hall, Drikus Hancke, Wylie Human, Adrian Jacobs, Butch James, Conrad Jantjes, Marius Joubert, Ondela Kiva, Monwabisi Mdyesha, Vido Nako, Bandile Ncunyana, Shaun Sowerby, Heinrich Stride, Pietman Van Niekerk, Frikkie Welsh, Attie Winter. - Sapa