SARU trims Junior Boks training squad

April 4, 2014
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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 JWC tournament. The reduced squad will continue with their activities until April 16 and then enjoy a break over Easter. They will  return to Stellenbosch on April 21, with SARU set to announce the official SA U20 JWC squad of 28 players on April 22.

The national selectors assisted Theron and his coaching team in the selection of the trimmed training group. During their stay in Stellenbosch the expanded training group worked with several members of the SARU Mobi-Unit, while the SA U20 medical and conditioning team conducted a series of medical, fitness and conditioning tests on the players. A handful of top players, including André Esterhuizen (Cell C Sharks), Handré Pollard and Jessie Kriel (Vodacom Bulls), did not participate in the trials due to Vodacom Super Rugby and Vodacom Cup commitments.

The intensive training and conditioning scheduled for the remainder of the camp aside, the training group will also play three international friendlies against Argentina. These matches are scheduled for May 2 at the Saldanha Rugby Club on the West Coast, May 6 at the Paul Roos Markötter Stadium in Stellenbosch and May 10 at City Park near Athlone in Cape Town. Theron was satisfied with what he saw on offer during the first week of the training camp and said: “This was the first time we were able to get the wider trainer group together, so I would like to thank all the provincial unions for their excellent cooperation.

“I am very excited about the talent that our coaching staff and the national selectors spotted during the two trial matches. We have a lot of depth at Under-20 level, especially if you take into consideration that some players were unable to take part in the trials because of Vodacom Cup and Vodacom Super Rugby commitments,” said Theron. The coach looked forward to the next phase of the training camp, and especially the tough series of matches against Argentina.

“We are extremely happy to keep the training group together for a bit longer, as it will enable us to monitor the players closely as we intensify our preparations for New Zealand,” explained Theron. 

 The 36-man SA Under-20 training squad:

 Vodacom Blue Bulls:

Dan Kriel, Pierre Schoeman, Duncan Mathews, JP Smith, Corniel Els, Wilco Louw, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Abongile Nonkontwana, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Warrick Gelant, Ganfred May, Marcus Kleinbooi, Chris Massyn, Ngobisizwe Mxoli, Marquit September, Leighton van Wyk

 Golden Lions:

Ramone Samuels, Jaco Van der Walt, Jano Venter, Victor Sisekete                      

Leopards:

Lloyd Greef

Toyota Free State:

Ox Nche, Joseph Dweba, Mthokozisi Mkhabela

Cell C Sharks XV:

Gideon Koegelenberg, Chris de Beer, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Daniel du Preez, Jean-Luc du Preez, Cameron Wright, Ayron Schramm

DHL Western Province:

JD Schickerling, Daniel du Plessis, Jarryd Sage, Chad Solomon, Frans van Wyk

The following players were not included in the updated training group due to Vodacom Super Rugby and Vodacom Cup commitments:

Aidon Davis (EP Kings), André Esterhuizen (Cell C Sharks), Cyle Brink (Golden Lions), Handré Pollard (Vodacom Bulls), Jan Uys (DHL Western Province), Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Malcolm Marx (Lions), Neil Maritz (Cell C Sharks XV), Nico Lee (Toyota Free State XV), Sandile Khubeka (Cell C Sharks XV), Sergeal Petersen (EP Kings), Thabo Mabuza (Golden Lions), Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks XV).

 The full training and events programme for the SA U20’s:

Camp One

Activation:          Training Camp

When:                  31 March – 16 April 2014

Where:                 Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS), Stellenbosch

JWC Squad Announcement

When:                  22 April 2014

Where:                 Cape Town

Camp Two

Activation:          Training Camp

When:                  22 April – 15 May 2014

Where:                 Stellenbosch and Cape Town

SA Under-20 International friendlies vs Argentina Under-20:

02 May                 SA vs Argentina (Saldanha Rugby Club, Saldanha)

06 May                 SA vs Argentina (Paul Roos, Stellenbosch)

10 May                 SA vs Argentina (City Park, Cape Town)

Camp Three

Activation:          Holding Camp

When:                  23 – 26 May 2014

Where:                 Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS), Stellenbosch

Activation:          Capping Ceremony

When:                  25 May 2014

Where:                 Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS), Stellenbosch

Activation:          Squad Departure 

When:                  26 May 2014

Where:                 Cape Town International Airport

IRB Junior World Championship (JWC)

Activation:          Tournament

When:                  27 May – 21 June 2014

Where:                 Auckland, New Zealand

SA Under-20 IRB JWC Fixtures

2 June 2014         SA vs Scotland (North Harbour)

6 June 2014         SA vs New Zealand (North Harbour)

10 June 2014      SA vs Samoa (Pukekohe)

15 June 2014      Playoffs (Tbc)

20 June 2014      Finals (Auckland)

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