Junior Springboks coach Dawie Theron on Thursday named the starting line-up for the SA Under-20 training squadâ€™s match against the University of the Western Cape (UWC), to be played on Friday afternoon at the MarkĂ¶tter Sports Field in Stellenbosch. Kick-off is at 16h00.
Tomorrowâ€™s encounter is the first of three training matches lined-up over the coming week for the SA U20 hopefuls. The players have been in camp since last Sunday and will end their training camp with a final match against the University of Cape Town next Saturday. In between they will also be in action against Maties in Stellenbosch on Wednesday.
The starting line-up for tomorrow includes 2012 Junior World Cup winners Jan Serfontein (centre), HandrĂ© Pollard (flyhalf) and Marvin Orie (lock). The 1.98m lock forward Orie will captain the team, while playmaker Pollard was confirmed as his understudy.
According to Theron, the three-match training exercise is something they have planned with the 2013 JWC schedule firmly in mind.
â€śDuring the JWC the turn-around times are tight as well and in France we will have three days to prepare before playing our next match so we wanted to simulate that,â€ť explained Theron.
â€śThe heat wave here in the Western Cape is actually a good thing for us because I believe it will also be quite hot in France during June.â€ť
Regarding team selection, Theron said that everyone in the 34 man training group will get a chance to play.
â€śWe will lose five, six of our guys after our second match as they are needed elsewhere, but that is not a problem as it creates the opportunity for everyone to play and after the UCT match all would have had a chance.â€ť
According to Theron, players outside the current squad can still make it to France.
â€śWe will be looking at the performances of players during the Vodacom Cup and Varsity Cup competitions and if someone performs impressively, then he will come into consideration. Raymond Rhule, for instance, forced his way into last yearâ€™s squad at a very late stage,â€ť added Theron.
The match kicks off at 16h00 on Friday, 18 January 2013 at the sports fields of the Paul Roos Gymnasium.
The SA Under-20 training squad is:
15. Cheslin Kolbe
14. Luther Obi
13. Justin Gedult
12. Jan Serfontein
11. Seabelo Senatla
10. HandrĂ© Pollard
9. Hanco Venter
8. Ruan Steenkamp
7. Jacques du Plessis
6. Albertus Smit
5. Marvin Orie (captain)
4. Irne Herbst
3. Luan de Bruin
2. Jacques du Toit
1. Sti Sithole
*All remaining squad players to be used as replacements.