Junior Boks suffer huge injury blow


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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 this coming Friday against New Zealand.

Midfielder Rohan Janse van Rensburg, who came on as second half replacement against Scotland in the JWC opener at the QBE Stadium 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 Junior 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 flanker Jacques Vermeulen. The Cape-based loose forward is also suffering from an ankle injury and has been ruled out of Friday’s encounter. On Tuesday, Junior Springboks coach, Dawie Theron described the three injuries as a huge blow for his team.

We all know how vital the match against New Zealand is and to have three players ruled out of action is a massive blow for us,” said Theron. He was full of praise for the contribution of all three players in the comprehensive 61-5 win over Scotland on Monday. “Andre made ten tackles and he was powerful and aggressive in midfield. He gave us a good presence on defence and was very good in taking the ball over the advantage line. “Jacques was very involved upfront, made 16 tackles and was also good in general play. And Rohan really showed his experience of playing at this level when he came on as a second half substitute,” said Theron.

Van Rensburg was one of three Junior Springboks on the field with previous JWC experience under their belt. The squad had a relative quiet day following their opening match in North Harbour, Auckland. The match 23 completed their recovery activities at the team hotel while the rest of the squad attended a legacy programme activity at the nearby Beach Haven Primary school.

The South Africans return to the training field on Wednesday and will have two sessions, one of which will be an evening exercise.

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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. Moving Pollard to 12 is probably the only option… surely a season with the big boys in Super Rugby will wipe away him being a speed bump there last year…

    Vermeulen was looking damn good though too, plenty of pace for a big man…

  2. Not convinced with the 15 either… but I’ve not seen much of the other Kriel…

    NZ’ers (other than their locks) are arguably one of their smaller sides in recent years interestingly enough… which could mean ‘quicker’…

  3. WP discard Pollard(not the right colour for WP) is just under 100Kg should be left at flyhalf. Playing players out of position is knee jerk reaction. Replace the centre….secondly the Captain should always be closer to the action to be in the refs ear at all times.

    @bryce_in_oz: yet the tight 5 are 40Kg heavier than ours???!!!!

    Agreed start the other 9 as the one in the last game was way too slow and effed a few times.

  4. @Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa:

    “yet the tight 5 are 40Kg heavier than ours???!!!”

    Mate with all due respect at least check the team-sheets/profiles on the IRB JWC site first…

    The first choice props alone have over 30kgs on the Kiwi’s props and it continues down the line!!!!


    But I digress… that is not really what I was on about… the Kiwi’s (and English) usually have BRUTES over 100kg in the centres and on the wings and the BB’s struggle… this is not the case this season for the first time (Bok U20’s centres, one wing and 15 are HUGE).. not that a few kilo’s here and there makes a difference against Islanders…

    “Playing players out of position is knee jerk reaction. Replace the centre”

    Replacing a specialist 12 with a 13/winger is not that easy… far easier for a 10 (who has played 12) to switch… particularly if there is a very good back-up 10 in the mix… actually Kriel from memory has also played 10/12 as well as his preferred 15…

  5. @Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa: Don’t know where you get your info on Pollard.

    He was signed with the Bulls when he was still in school and not due to lack of interest or effort from WP.


    Pollard signs with Bulls
    by Brenden Nel 02 July 2012, 17:04

    In one of the worst kept secrets in SA Rugby, the Blue Bulls Company have confirmed they have signed SA under-20 flyhalf Handre Pollard to join the Vodacom Blue Bulls in 2012.

    Pollard, who is still at school, starred in the Baby Boks recent IRB Junior World Championship victory over the All Blacks to take the crown and has been the subject of much unhappiness in Western Province ranks about his move.

    There has been much work behind the scenes to try and get Pollard to stay, but the young star decided to opt for Pretoria after generous counter-offers by Western Province and the Sharks.

    The 18 year old Paarl Gymnasium scholar scored 42 points during the IRB Junior World Championship 2012, including 12 points in the final, won 22-16 by South Africa.

    According to the CEO of the Blue Bulls Company, Barend van Graan, Pollard has been on their radar for more than two years.

    “We encouraged, through our scouting process, a possible move to the Blue Bulls after his school studies way back in 2010, when Handrè played in the Grant Khomo Week for Under Sixteen players. What impressed us then was his cool head under pressure and the maturity of his general play and decision making. His performance during the JWC confirmed that potential and we are excited to have him in our structures later this year,” Van Graan said.

    Pollard joins a host of Baby Bok teammates that are already contracted to the Bulls next year, including IRB Junior World Championship Player of the year Jan Serfontein and fellow nominee Shaun Adendorff.

  6. Jacques…

    If WP really wanted him he’d still have been in Cape Town….

    None of your lot ever easily leave that womb under the mountain…

    On the other hand… Cape Town has now overtaken Johannesbiurg as the city with the fastest rising crime rate in the country (so the world) and has also become the city with the worst traffic congestion on earth…

    So maybe he just decided it’d be better to come here…

  7. @DavidS: I am fine if a player decide to go soemwhere else becuase he believe he will excel their, like Pollard did, just don’t start blaming WP, they actually gave him a huge offer but he wanted to go to the Bulls and Tuks