SA Under 20
The Junior Springbok rugby squad arrived in Italy on Thursday afternoon for the World Rugby Under 20 Championship and immediately settled in at their tournament base in Parma.
Conditioning coach, Dr Warren Adams, took the squad of 28 players for an active recovery session which consisted of a good stretch followed by a swim in the pool.
The squad left South Africa yesterday and arrived here via a domestic flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg and then the overnight haul from the City of Gold to Frankfurt in Germany.
That was followed by a 90 minute airplane journey to Milan, from where the South Africans travelled by bus to their tournament destination.
Hanro Liebenberg and his squad are in a good condition after attending an intensive training camp of almost 2 months at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport.
South Africa play their opening fixture next Tuesday evening in Calvisano against the hosts, Italy in what is expected to be a fiercely contested clash.
Vodacom Blue Bulls No 8 Hanro Liebenberg will lead the Junior Springboks at the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Italy next month, SARU confirmed on Wednesday.
Liebenberg will skipper the 28-man squad during the 3-week tournament from 2 to 20 June. He led the Junior Springboks to a thrilling win over the Varsity Cup Dream Team last month and also captained them when they clinched a 2 – 0 series win over the Argentina Under 20 side in Rosario last Saturday.
The squad, which was chosen by the national selectors, consists of 16 forwards and 12 backs, and includes 6 players who featured in last year’s tournament in New Zealand. Last year England edged the young South Africans by a single point in a memorable final at Eden Park in Auckland.
Jean-Luc du Preez (flank), Thomas du Toit (prop, both Cell C Sharks), Joseph Dweba (hooker, Toyota Free State Cheetahs), Abongile Nonkontwana (lock, Vodacom Blue Bulls), Jacques Vermeulen (No 8, DHL Western Province) and Warrick Gelant (fullback, Vodacom Blue Bulls) are the players who will represent the Junior Springboks for a 2nd successive year.
The Junior Springbok squad shows 4 changes from the touring group that returned from Argentina on Monday evening.
Lock RG Snyman (Vodacom Blue Bulls) got the nod to travel to Italy after he sat out the Los Pumitas series because of an ankle injury. WP centre EW Viljoen and Blue Bulls flyhalf Tinus de Beer, who also did not tour Argentina, were both selected for the Italian job.
The Du Preez twins, Dan and Jean-Luc, who were selected for the 2014 tournament, are also members of the 28-man squad. Dan, however, withdrew days before the team left for New Zealand last year because of a shoulder injury.
The Junior Springboks were made to fight hard to overcome a courageous Argentina Under 20 rugby team by 25 / 22 in the 1st of 2 matches between the sides late on Tuesday in Santa Fe, Argentina.
Los Pumitas led 15 / 10 at halftime after they dominated possession and territory while playing with a strong wind in their favour in the 1st half. They scored 2 tries and a penalty to take a deserved lead, while the Junior Springboks answered with a converted try and a penalty to stay within distance despite their many unforced errors.
The young South Africans used their dominance in the scrums and set pieces to much better effect in the 2nd half, adding a penalty and an excellent try to edge out the hosts in front of a passionate crowd.
SARU 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.
Junior Springboks (10) 31 / 24 (12) VC Dream Team (Final Score)
The Junior Springboks and the Varsity Cup Dream Team did battle in a special game
Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch at 18:30 SA Time (16:30 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.
Coach Franco Smith has been forced to make changes to his Varsity Cup Dream Team which will tackle the Baby Boks in Stellenbosch next Tuesday evening.
UP-Tuks players Dan Kriel and Jaco Visagie are not available for selection and had to be replaced.
Kriel’s spot at inside centre has been taken by Johan Deysel who will now link up with his NWU-Pukke team-mate Rowayne Beukman in midfield.
Visagie was due to start as a replacement and experienced UFS-Shimlas hooker Elandre Hugget will now take his spot on the bench.
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.
England Under 20 retained their title as the IRB’s Junior World Champions when they edged their South African counterparts 21-20 in Auckland on Friday.
It was far from a clinical display. In fact it was a typical Final – in which there was good and bad kicking, handling errors, moments of sublime brilliance and a few poor options.
However, it was a great and enthralling encounter to watch, as two of the giants of the junior game went head-to-head.
In the end England deserved the win, if only because they made fewer errors and managed to overcome their soft moments better than the Baby Boks did.
Two of the key aspects were the line-outs, where JD Schickerling reigned supreme, and the kicking game – with Handré Pollard and Warrick Gelant’s boots just so much more accurate and secure.
However, errors limited the Baby Boks’ ability to capitalise on their superiority on those departments.
Junior Springboks (10) 20 / 21 (11) England (Final Score)
The South African Junior Springboks and England Under 20 did battle in the 2014 FINAL of the IRB Junior World Championship at
Eden Park, Auckland at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 08:35 BST, 07:35 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD & CSN on TV in SA.
Dan Kriel will play on the right wing for the Junior Springboks in the IRB Junior World Championship final against England on Friday night at Eden Park in Auckland.
His inclusion in place of Lloyd Greeff is the only tweak to the team that beat New Zealand in a dramatic semi-final last Sunday in North Harbour.
The versatile Kriel, twin brother of outside centre Jesse Kriel, is preferred in the starting line-up because of his huge work rate on defence.
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.
The International Rugby Board has confirmed the shortlist of four nominees for the prestigious Award, with the winner set to be announced following the Junior World Championship final at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.
Finalists South Africa and England each have a player nominated in captain Pollard and wing Nathan Earle respectively, with Ireland centre Garry Ringrose and New Zealand wing Tevita Li completing the quartet of players.
The management of the 12 teams involved in the IRB Junior World Championship of 2014 in New Zealand voted on their top three players after each round with votes tallied to provide the shortlist of nominees.
The public now has the chance to vote on this shortlist on the official Facebook page www.facebook.com/irbjuniors. The results of the public poll will be considered, along with the original votes, when finalising the winner.
The Semi-Final Play-off Round of the IRB Junior World Championship is a thing of the past, with South Africa Under 20 and England Under 20 advancing to contest the FINAL and leaving Ireland Under 20 and New Zealand Under 20 to contest for 3rd place.
South Africa, the top seeds, beat New Zealand by 32 / 25 in a hard-fought game, socring the winning try with 2 minutes left on the clock.
England trounced Ireland by 42 / 15 and of course is the defending champions, looking to successfully defend their title.
- France beat Wales 19 / 18
- Australia demolished Samoa by 53 / 16
- Scotland narrowly beat Italy by 21 / 18
- Argentina saw off Fiji by 38 / 12
South Africa U20 (10) 32 / 25 (15) New Zealand U 20 (Final Score)
The Junior Springboks and Baby Blacks did battle in the one semi-final of the 2014 Junior World Championship at
QBE Stadium, Albany, Auckland at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 07:35 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & SHD on TV in SA.
Junior Springbok captain Handré Pollard will be hoping to continue his unbeaten run against the Baby Blacks when they square off in their semifinal on Sunday.
The Bulls flyhalf has not lost to the New Zealand Under-20 side in three previous encounters and will play in his third consecutive semifinal after making his Junior World Championship debut in 2012 on home soil in South Africa. In 2012 he won the JWC title as a schoolboy while last year he was in the exciting Junior Boks team that finished third in France.
The South Africans head into the game with something of a psychological advantage having beaten the Baby Blacks in the pool stage last week, and they will have to repeat that this weekend if they are to progress to the final at Eden Park.
The Junior Springboks finished top of pool C at the IRB Junior World Championship in New Zealand on Tuesday, beating a spirited Samoa 21-8 in Pukekohe. Samoa had a 8-7 lead at the break.
The South Africans scored three tries, two of them in the second half, as they battled poor playing conditions and a very committed Samoan team to finish as the top qualifier at the tournament.
It was a frustrating evening for the Junior Boks, who lacked the sharpness and edge that highlighted their play against New Zealand on Friday. They could not execute on a number of occasions, but finished strongly.
The South Africans were held over the line on three occasions, lost the ball over the line twice and had two penalties to the poles drifted wide.
Samoa U20 (8) 8 / 21 (7) Junior Springboks (Final Score)
Samoa Under 20 and South Africa Under 20 did battle in the Junior World Championship at
ECOLight Stadium, Pukekohe at 07:35 SA Time (17:35 NZ Time, 05:35 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & SHD on TV in SA.
Junior 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.
Vodacom Blue Bulls Under 21 hooker Arno van Wyk has joined the Junior Springboks in Auckland after a knee injury forced Malcolm Marx (Golden Lions) out of the IRB Junior World Championship.
Marx might be out of action for up to six weeks after he sustained the injury during a training session earlier in the week.
The burly Johannesburg-based hooker became the second Junior Bok to be ruled out of Junior World Championship 2014 after centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg returned home with an ankle injury.
Jean Luc du Preez, who received a nasty blow to the head against New Zealand Under-20 on Friday night, was meanwhile released from hospital during the early hours of Saturday morning.
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.
The 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.
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.
Injured Sharks lock Daniel du Preez has been withdrawn from the South African Under-20 squad that will travel to New Zealand on Monday for the upcoming IRB Junior World Championship (JWC).
The 18-year old former SA Schools player is replaced by Johannes Vermeulen of Western Province.
South Africa Under 20 captain Handré Pollard has not been able to participate in the team’s build-up to the IRB World Junior Championship.
The tournament will be stage in New Zealand next month.
Despite the absence of two key players, Pollard (Bulls) and Thomas du Toit (Sharks), Baby Bok coach Dawie Theron is not concerned.
Pollard and Du Toit have been on Super Rugby duty.
Versatile Vodacom Blue Bulls midfielder Rohan Janse van Rensburg has replaced his injured provincial team mate Duncan Matthews (wing) in the Junior Springboks squad for 2014 IRB Junior World Championship.
New Zealand will stage the 2014 JWC for the first time from 2 to 20 June in Auckland. Matthews was ruled out of action due to a back injury.
Vodacom 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.
South Africa Under-20 completed a 3-0 series win over Argentina after clinching a 41-36 victory in their final encounter on Saturday afternoon at City Park.
The Junior Springboks led 24-5 at halftime. The three matches were part of the two sides’ preparations for the 2014 Junior World Championship, to be staged during June in Auckland, New Zealand.
Junior 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.
The Junior Springboks continued their preparations for the IRB Junior World Championship 2014 with a hardworking 60-14 victory over Argentina Under-20 on Tuesday afternoon at Stellenbosch.
Last week, the South Africa Under-20 side won the first of three encounter 78-31 in Saldanha Bay. The third and final clash between the two sides takes place on Saturday at 16h00 at the City Park Stadium in Crawford, Cape Town.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Monday announced a near full-strength Junior Springbok team to face Argentina Under-20 on Tuesday in Stellenbosch in the second of three friendly internationals between the countries.
SA Under-20 coach Dawie Theron made 11 changes from the team that overwhelmed Los Pumitas in the first encounter between the sides last Friday in Saldanha Bay on the West Coast.
The South Africa Under-20 squad will be able to test their readiness for this year’s Junior World Championship (JWC) when they tackle the Argentina Under-20s in three international friendly matches in the Western Cape.
The first clash takes place on Friday at 4pm at the Saldanha Bay Rugby Club on the West Coast.
The 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.
The process to select the SA Under-20 squad to represent South Africa at the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship in New Zealand will begin on Sunday when the expanded training group gathers in Stellenbosch for an intensive two-month training camp.
The group, consisting of almost 70 of the country’s most promising Under-20 players, will play trial matches on Monday, 31 March and Wednesday 2 April in Stellenbosch. Following the trials, the squad will be reduced to approximately 40 players to continue with preparations ahead of the JWC 2014.
The Junior World Championship will be held in Auckland from June 2 to 20, 2014.
Five key members of the Springbok squad in 2013 will go head-to-head for the annual SA Rugby Player of the Year Award, while the Steval Pumas have been rewarded for their great form this season with nominations in four categories.
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers, the winner in 2008 who led South Africa to 10 victories in 12 Tests in 2013, will go up against Bismarck du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Willie le Roux and Duane Vermeulen for the most prestigious individual award in South African rugby.
There are five changes in the starting line-up of the Junior Springboks to play against Wales in the IRB Junior World Championship rugby semi-final in Vannes, France, on Tuesday evening.