Flyhalf Handré Pollard will captain the SA Schools team in their final Under-18 International Series match against England at the UWC Sports Stadium in Bellville on Saturday. Kick-off is at 12h45.
Pollard, a 2012 IRB Junior World Championship winner with the Junior Springboks, takes over the leadership duties from Affies prop Pierre Schoeman.
After shuffling the team with numerous changes for their previous outing in George against Wales, the national selectors have chosen what is arguably the strongest line-up for the clash against England.
A surprise selection choice in the SA Schools line-up is that of Outeniqua High fullback Warrick Gelant as midfield-partner for the strong running Waterkloof inside centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg. Gelant caught the eye with some enterprising play against Wales and his pairing with Janse van Rensburg adds extra attacking power to an already exciting backline.
With Gelant now in the number-13 jersey it means a return to the fullback position for Jesse Kriel of Maritzburg College.
Pollard came on as a first half substitute against Wales and his introduction changed the course of the game because he was able to stamp his authority on the match from the very first move he initiated. The SA schoolboys will be aiming for their third win after victories over France and Wales.
The English boys, however, will be looking to finish their tour on a positive note after their surprise defeat against France at Outeniqua Park. France and Wales will get the day’s action underway at 11h00.
The SA Schools team for Saturday versus England U18 is:
15. Jesse Kriel (Maritzburg College)
14. Sergeal Petersen (Grey PE)
13. Warrick Gelant (Outeniqua)
12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Waterkloof)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Outeniqua)
10. Handre Pollard (Paarl Gym, captain)
9. Justin Phillips (Waterkloof)
8. Aidon Davis (HTS Daniël Pienaar)
7. Jean-Luc du Preez (Kearsney College)
6. Thabo Mabuza (Centurion)
5. Nicholas Janse van Rensburg (Affies, vice-captain)
4. John-Dave Schickerling (Paarl Gym)
3. Dayan van der Westhuizen (Centurion)
2. Malcolm Marx (King Edward)
1. Ox Nche (Louis Botha)
16. Chad Solomon (Paul Roos)
17. Pierre Schoeman (Affies)
18. Wilco Louw (HTS Drostdy)
19. Gideon Koegelenberg (Hugenote)
20. Akhona Sihunu (Dale College)
21. Ryno Eksteen (Affies)
22. Sandile Kubeka (Kearsney College)
23. Jano Venter (HTS Middelburg)