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Dawie Theron

Barend van Graan

CEO Barend van Graan

The Vodacom Bulls are totally mum as to who could possibly succeed Frans Ludeke as their new Super Rugby head coach.

Media speculation has been rife about possible candidates for the new post in Pretoria.

Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron is being mentioned as a possible successor to Ludeke, who was stood down despite having another year left on his contract.

Despite the Theron rumours, the Bulls insist no decision has been made yet.

“The Blue Bulls Company (BBC) will not comment about rumours about possible coaches mentioned in the media,” CEO Barend van Graan said.

Springbok lock Victor Matfield has also been touted as a possible head coach, as well as current Springbok assistant coach Johann van Graan.

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SpringboksThe Junior Springboks clinched their 2 match international rugby series 2 – 0 against Argentina Under 20 after beating Los Pumitas 39 / 28 in Rosario on Saturday, with prop Jan van der Merwe helping himself to a hat-trick of tries in the 1st half.

The 2 teams used the series as final warm-up exercise for the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Italy next month.

On Saturday at the beautiful Club Gimnasia Stadium in Rosario, the Junior Boks raced into a commanding 25 / 6 halftime lead thanks to a trio of tries by front ranker Jan van der Merwe. Argentina struggled to match the visitors’ powerful forward surges and could only reply with 2 penalties.

The South Africans scored 2 more tries in the 2nd half through Leolin Zas (wing) and Joseph Dweba (replacement hooker). However, they had to show great determination on defence against Los Pumitas, who stormed back with 3 tries in the 2nd stanza.

Captain and No 8, Hanro Liebenberg, led with example with ball in hand and also did sterling work on defence. The Junior Boks dominated the scrums, were supreme in the lineouts and mauled powerfully which resulted in 3 tries.

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SpringboksJunior Springbok coach Dawie Theron has shuffled his match-23 for the 2nd international rugby friendly against Argentina Under 20 (Los Pumitas) this coming Saturday in Rosario. The match will kick-off at 14:00 ARG Time (19:00 SA Time).

The young South Africans won the 1st meeting between the 2 sides 25 / 22 on Tuesday in Santa Fe. Both teams are using the 2-match series as their final warm-up for the World Rugby Under 20 Championship which will be hosted by Italy in June.

Theron elected to retain only a number of players from the starting 15 which managed to edge Los Pumitas, while he opted also for 2 positional changes.

Tighthead prop Thomas du Toit, Jason Jenkins (lock), Leolin Zas (left wing), Daniel du Plessis (inside centre) and JT Jackson (outside centre) will all start in their 2nd tour match. N0 8 Dan du Preez and right wing Grant Hermanus will however run out in different positions.

Du Preez moves to flank while Hermanus will wear the No 15 jersey. Fullback Warrick Gelant and prop Frans van Wyk were not considered for selection because of shoulder injuries.

Hanro Liebenberg of the Vodacom Blue Bulls returns to the starting line-up at the back of the scrum and will also take over the captaincy from Rikus Bothma (DHL Western Province) who led the side in Santa Fe. Liebenberg sat out the 1st tour match as precaution for his troubled hand.

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SpringboksSARU has confirmed the 28-man Junior Springbok squad for a 2-match series against Argentina Under 20 in Rosario next month.

The squad will be led by Vodacom Bulls No 8 Hanro Liebenberg, who also captained the Junior Springboks last week in their match against the Varsity Cup Dream Team in Stellenbosch.

The Junior Springboks fly out to Argentina on 8 May and return 10 days later. They will play against their Argentine counterparts, on 12 and 16 May in Rosario.

A total of 17 forwards and 11 backs were selected for the trip. The short tour forms an important part of the Junior Springboks’ preparations for the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in June in Italy.

According to Dawie Theron, the Junior Springbok coach, the tour against the Los Pumitas will give his squad important playing time against strong opposition.

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Dawie Theron

Dawie Theron

The South African Rugby Union on Wednesday announced a large group of players to participate in the Junior Springbok trials camp early next month in Stellenbosch. The trials will kick-start the process to select the Junior Springbok squad of 28 players for the upcoming World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Italy in June.

The best local Under 20 players will assemble on Sunday 30 March at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS) and will remain in camp until 2 April. This will be followed by a break for the Easter holidays. The camp will feature 2 trial matches on Tuesday 31 March and Thursday 2 April respectively at the Paul Roos Markottër Stadium.

Players such as Thomas du Toit, Dan du Preez (both, Cell C Sharks), RG Snyman and Warrick Gelant (both, Vodacom Blue Bulls) who are currently busy with Vodacom Super Rugby commitments, were excluded from the trials squad. Duhan van der Merwe (Vodacom Blue Bulls) and Rikus Bothma (DHL Western Province) are currently injured and were not considered.

Following the trials, a smaller group of 34 players will return to SAS on 6 April for the Junior Springbok training camp. This training camp will include the following activities:

  • Training exercises against the DHL Western Province Rugby Institute
  • A match against a Varsity Cup select XV
  • And a short tour of Argentina featuring two matches against the Los Pumitas

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Heyneke Meyer - BokSmart

Heyneke Meyer – BokSmart

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer and his SA Under 20 counterpart Dawie Theron recently renewed their BokSmart certification for a further 2 years.

Meyer renewed his certification in Pretoria last week, while Theron was joined by 3 members of the South African Rugby Union’s High Performance Mobi-Unit and Springbok coaching consultants, Pieter de Villiers, Louis Koen and Chean Roux, as well as Jacques Nienaber, High Performance Manager in the Rugby Department, in Cape Town earlier this month.

The biennial BokSmart certification is compulsory for anybody who wants to coach or referee rugby in South Africa at any level. The 3 Springbok assistant coaches, Johann van Graan, Ricardo Loubscher and John McFarland, are certified until 2016 while Springbok consultant Richie Gray will renew his certification later this year.

BokSmart provides coaches and referees with the knowledge and skills to apply safe rugby techniques and basic medical and injury prevention practices.

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Dawie Theron

Dawie Theron

The Northern Hemisphere has had a distinct advantage going into the annual Junior World Championship, but that may soon evaporate.

South African Under 20 coach, Dawie Theron, said discussions are underway to organise a four-nations Rugby Championship style tournament for juniors.

The reason is that when the Six Nations teams – England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France and Italy – get into the play-offs of the IRB JWC they have the experience of a tough competition to fall back on.

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Abongile Nonkontwana

Abongile Nonkontwana

The Baby Boks will be up against the tournament’s other big boys as they prepare for a forward dominated Final in the Junior World Championship.

England cruised to the Final by destroying Ireland in the semifinal with their sizable forwards and impressive set pieces.

The monstrous English Under 20’s play a game that is not to far from the South African’s one, relying on a good platform to be set by the forwards as they physically dominate their opposition.

The question come Friday will be: which pack can destroy the other enough to swing the game in their favour?

The South Africans forwards have impressed throughout the tournament, most evidentially in their two victories against the hosts, New Zealand.

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Jesse & Dan Kriel with Dawie Theron

Jesse & Dan Kriel with Dawie Theron

South AfricaJunior Springboks coach Dawie Theron has selected his strongest available starting line-up for the final Pool C Junior World Championship match against Samoa on Tuesday in Pukekohe.

The match at the Ecolight Stadium will kick off at 07h35 SA time and will be televised live on SuperSport.

Theron has again shuffled his match 23 and retained only six players who outplayed New Zealand 33-24 last Friday in Albany, Auckland.

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Jesse & Dan Kriel with Dawie Theron

Jesse & Dan Kriel with Dawie Theron

Powerfully built twins Jesse and Dan Kriel will play alongside each other in the midfield for the Baby Boks against the New Zealand Under 20’s.

Injury to four players has forced Theron to reshuffle his match 23 after the Junior Boks scored a convincing 61-5 win over Scotland.

Midfielders Rohan Janse van Rensburg (ankle), Andre Esterhuizen (head blow) and flank Jacques Vermeulen (ankle) were all ruled out of selection because of injuries sustained against the Scots.

On Thursday, Golden Lions hooker Malcolm Marx was also ruled out of action for several weeks after he had suffered a knee injury during a training session.

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Dawie Theron

Dawie Theron

South AfricaThe Junior Springboks suffered a huge injury setback on Tuesday with the news that three players were ruled out of their vital IRB Junior World Championship Pool C clash  against New Zealand this coming Friday.

Midfielder Rohan Janse van Rensburg, who came on as second half replacement against Scotland in the JWC opener at the QBE Stadium in North Harbour on Monday, will return home after he sustained an ankle injury in the match. He will be replaced by Duhan van der Merwe, a SA Sevens contracted player and a member of the Baby Boks’ training group.

Powerful inside centre Andre Esterhuizen was ruled out of action for the next couple of days after receiving a blow to the head in the second half against the Scots. He will not be considered for the New Zealand clash. The team’s medical staff is currently managing him according to the Graduated Return to Play Protocol (GRTP).

The third casualty is flank Jacques Vermeulen. The Cape-based loose forward is also suffering from an ankle injury and has been ruled out of Friday’s encounter.

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South Africa

Handré Pollard

Handré Pollard

The Junior Springboks were off to an impressive start at the Junior World Championships in New Zealand.

The Junior Springboks opened their IRB Junior World Championship with an impressive 61-5 win over Scotland at the QBE Stadium, North Harbour in New Zealand on Monday.

The South Africans scored nine tries, with good improvement in all phases of play as the match progressed.

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Handré PollardVodacom Bulls flyhalf Handré Pollard will captain the Junior Springboks at the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship during June in New Zealand, South Africa Under-20 coach Dawie Theron announced on Tuesday.

EP Kings number eight Aidon Davis and Vodacom Blue Bulls fullback Jesse Kriel were confirmed as the two vice-captains.

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Dawie TheronJunior Springboks coach Dawie Theron has again reshuffled his starting line-up for the third and final match against Argentina Under-20 on Saturday at City Park in Crawford, Cape Town.

The South Africa Under-20’s have already clinched the three-match series between the two countries after posting comprehensive 78-31 and 60-14 victories respectively over the visitors.

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Dawie TheronSouth AfricaA Junior Springbok squad bolstered by several players with Vodacom Super Rugby experience was named by SARU in Cape Town on Tuesday for the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship to be hosted by New Zealand from June 2 to 22.

Handré Pollard (flyhalf, Vodacom Bulls), André Esterhuizen (centre, Cell C Sharks), Sergeal Petersen and Aidon Davis (both Southern Kings) as well as Malcolm Marx (hooker, Lions) have all either played Vodacom Super Rugby or have been part of their respective franchise’s Super Rugby training groups.

The squad also sees the return of several players who did duty for the South Africa Under-20’s in France last year, where they claimed the bronze medal.

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South AfricaThe South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Friday named a reduced SA Under-20 training squad of 36 players for the remainder of the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship (JWC) training camp following two trial matches in Stellenbosch this week.

An large group of almost 50 players were selected for the camp as SA Under-20 coach Dawie Theron opted to cast his net wide in search of the best players to represent the country at the JWC in Auckland, New Zealand, from May 27 to June 20. This will be the first time the country hosts the tournament.

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Dawie TheronThe SA Under-20 squad had their first training session at the Green Point Track in Cape Town on Monday afternoon after the 28-man squad and four standby players assembled in the Mother City ahead of their friendly international against Namibia.

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Dawie TheronSouth African Under 20 coach, Dawie Theron, expressed his satisfaction on the performance of his national training squad in their friendly match against the University of the Western Cape in Stellenbosch on Friday.

The SA Under 20’s won the match 65-7 after a half-time lead of 31-0.

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Dawie TheronSouth Africa Under-20 head coach Dawie Theron on Monday named 34 players for the latest training camp in preparation for the IRB Junior World Championships to be played in France in June. The Junior Springboks will defend the title won in South Africa last year.

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South Africa Under-20 coach Dawie Theron has picked a complete new selection to face the visiting Argentina Pumitas in their second of three international matches at the Markotter Stadium in Stellenbosch (4pm).

The team comprise mostly of Under-19 players and those who were not involved in the opening clash on Saturday at the same venue.

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