Junior Boks tweak side for Summer Series pool decider

Jul 4 • BabyBoks U20, General News, International, Junior Rugby, National, South Africa, South Africa • 255 Views • No Comments on Junior Boks tweak side for Summer Series pool decider

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The Junior Springboks side to face France in their vital U20 Six Nations Summer Series clash in Verona on Tuesday has undergone several changes, which include a couple of positional switches.

The SA U20s won their previous two Pool A matches, against England and Ireland, and a win will see them top their group and set up a playoff match with the Pool B winner.

The Junior Boks’ encounter starts at 17h00 and will be streamed live on
www.springboks.rugby, and also broadcast on SuperSport.

For Tuesday’s pool decider, props Lamla Nunu and Sebastian Lombard come back into the starting team, as does loose forward Ruan Venter.

Scrumhalf Neil le Roux is handed a start while Nico Steyn, who started in the victories over England and Ireland, is now set to make an impact off the bench.

Meanwhile, the backline has undergone several tweaks, with Suleiman Hartzenberg moving from wing to inside centre, replacing the injured Carlton Banies. With Hartzenberg partnering Ethan James in midfield, Imad Khan now slots into the vacant left wing position.

Donovan Don shifts from right wing to fullback, opening the way for Katlego Letebele – who came off the bench against Ireland – to earn his first start amongst the outside backs.

A strong second half saw the Junior Boks overcome England in the opening round, while the SA U20s gave a powerful first half display to put them out of reach against U20 Six Nations and Grand Slam winners, Ireland.

Reinhardt Ludwig has been ever-present as lock in the previous two Junior Bok wins and the second rower, who is also one of the leadership group in the squad, represented the Vodacom Bulls in the inaugural Vodacom United Rugby Championship (URC), where the Pretoria franchise were edged in a thrilling Grand Final by the DHL Stormers.

Ludwig, who has formed a good partnership with Connor Evans of DHL Western Province so during the Summer Series, knows the contest against France will be a tough one as it will determine the outcome of this difficult group.

“You can’t complain too much if you win two games, but the desire is there to always improve,” explained Ludwig, who added they were a bit rusty against England, and made a good start against Ireland.

“We slipped up a bit in the second half (against the Irish), but that has made us hungry and we’ve put in some good prep work for the French game,” he said.

The Junior Bok vice-captain described France as a quality side and said they will have to play very well if they want to be successful: “They’ve won the U20 Six Nations and U20 World Championship in previous years and we are expecting a tough, physical match. They have a good, skilful side and are coached well, so they will pose a massive threat.”

In Pool B, Wales and Italy both have 10 points from their two bonus-point wins. They face each other on Wednesday at 20h00 with first place in the group at stake.

The Junior Springboks team vs France in Verona

  1. Donovan Don (Down Touch Griffons)
  2. Katlego Letebele (Vodacom Bulls)
  3. Ethan James (vice-captain, DHL WP)
  4. Suleiman Hartzenberg (DHL WP)
  5. Imad Khan (DHL WP)
  6. Sacha Mngomezulu (captain, DHL WP)
  7. Neil le Roux (Vodacom Bulls)
  8. Cameron Hanekom (Vodacom Bulls)
  9. Ruan Venter (Lions)
  10. Paul de Villiers (DHL WP)
  11. Reinhardt Ludwig (vice-captain, Vodacom Bulls)
  12. Connor Evans (DHL WP)
  13. Sebastian Lombard (Vodacom Bulls)
  14. Tiaan Lange (Vodacom Bulls)
  15. Lamla Nunu (DHL WP)

Replacements

  1. Lukhanyo Vokozela (DHL WP)
  2. Juann Else (Vodacom Bulls)
  3. Corne Weilbach (DHL WP)
  4. Merwe Olivier (Vodacom Bulls)
  5. Siya Ningiza (Cell C Sharks)
  6. Nico Steyn (Lions)
  7. Duran Koevort (DHL WP)
  8. Latica Nela (SA Rugby Sevens)
  9. Sivu Mabece (Vodacom Bulls)
  10. Louw Nel (DHL WP)
  11. Gcino Mdletshe (Vodacom Bulls)

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