SA Schools teams named for U19 series openers

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SA Schools coach Lance Sendin and SA Schools A coach Sean Erasmus on Thursday named their teams for the opening round of the Under-19 International Series at City Park Stadium in Crawford, Cape Town, on Friday.

The SA Schools team will face Wales at 15h00 and the SA Schools A team takes on Italy at 13h30. In the other fixture England and France clash at 12h00. All three matches will be broadcast live on SuperSport 1 (channel 201).

With the bulk of the 26-man SA Schools squad being made up of DHL Western Province players, who took top honours in the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week for the second successive year, Sendin had the luxury of selecting a few settled player combinations.

The DHL Western Province loose trio of Charl Serdyn, Muller Uys and Khanya Ncusane will form a solid looseforward combination, while their provincial counterparts, fullback Gianni Lombard and wing Mike Mavovana, will also form a key combination at the back along with left wing Sihle Njezula from Eastern Province.

The front-row pairing of Bidvest Golden Lions prop Nathan McBeth and hooker PJ Botha, who will pack down with Eastern Province Country Districts prop Sazi Sandi, will also be vital against the Welsh pack.

“Given the limited time to prepare for the tournament, it was important to select a few settled player combinations, while at the same time trying to name the strongest possible team,” said Sendin.

“Unfortunately a few players had flu this week and had to be managed, which also influenced our team selection. That said, we would like to give the players on the bench a good run as well in the match.”

Commenting on the threat posed by Wales, Sendin said: “Wales have come all the way to South Africa and they will be determined to win. The fact that they have played together before will certainly give them confidence. Their rush defence is very good and they have a strong pack of forwards, so they will look to dominate up front, and we are expecting them to use their rolling maul often, so we have to be wary of that.”

Erasmus also selected a few settled combinations in his starting team to face Italy, with Enrista Blue Bulls fullback Abner van Reenen, wing Austin Davids and captain and centre Louritz Van der Schyff joining forces. In the front row, the familiarity between Sharks hooker Dylan Richardson and prop Gugu Nelani will add stability in the front row.

“We selected a team we thought we would be best suited to way we plan to play against Italy,” said Erasmus.

“We are expecting a physical onslaught from them in the first 20 minutes and a free-flowing game in general. They are a passionate nation and that will certainly show in the way they play, so this will be a tough test for us.”

With the U19 International Series serving as a platform to expose young players to top-class rugby from a young age, all six teams have been allowed to name match-day squads of 26 players. However, only eight replacements may be used on the day.

SA Schools team to face Wales:

Nr Name Province
15 Gianni Lombard DHL Western Province
14 Mike Mavovana DHL Western Province
13 Wandisile Simelane Bidvest Golden Lions
12 Rikus Pretorius Bizhub Free State
11 Sihle Njezula Eastern Province
10 Damian Willemse DHL Western Province
9 Rewan Kruger Bizhub Free State
8 Khanya Ncusane DHL Western Province
7 Muller Uys DHL Western Province
6 Charl Serdyn DHL Western Province
5 PJ Steenkamp Enrista Blue Bulls
4 Salmaan Moerat (captain) DHL Western Province
3 Sazi Sandi Eastern Province CD
2 PJ Botha Bidvest Golden Lions
1 Nathan McBeth Bidvest Golden Lions
16 Daniel Jooste DHL Western Province
17 Reece Bezuidenhout DHL Western Province
18 Johan Neethling DHL Western Province
19 Ben-Jason Dixon DHL Western Province
20 JC Pretorius Pumas
21 Richman Gora Thepa Trading Griffons
22 Ruan de Swardt Enrista Blue Bulls
23 Manuel Rass DHL Western Province
24 Muller du Plessis DHL Western Province
25 Emilio Adonis Enrista Blue Bulls
26 Khwezi Mafu Eastern Province


SA Schools A team to face Italy:

Nr Name Province
15 Abner van Reenen Enrista Blue Bulls
14 Austin Davids Enrista Blue Bulls
13 Louritz Van der Schyff (captain) Enrista Blue Bulls
12 Sicelo Tole Eastern Province
11 Cameron Hufke GWK Griquas
10 Lubabalo Dobela Eastern Province
9 Sanele Nohamba Sharks
8 Jessie Johnson DHL Western Province
7 Mark Snyman Bidvest Golden Lions
6 Athi Magwala DHL Western Province
5 Christopher Havenga Bidvest Golden Lions
4 Jaco van Tonder Bizhub Free State
3 Mornay Smith Enrista Blue Bulls
2 Dylan Richardson Sharks
1 Gugu Nelani Sharks
16 Schalk Erasmus Enrista Blue Bulls
17 Cabous Eloff Enrista Blue Bulls
18 Keagan Glade Bidvest Golden Lions
19 Juan van der Mescht Sharks
20 Ryno Pieterse Enrista Blue Bulls
21 Dian Schoonees Bizhub Free State
22 Zinedine Booysen SWD Eagles
23 Tyrone Green Bidvest Golden Lions
24 Tadendaishe Mujawo Bidvest Golden Lions
25 Janco van Heyningen Bizhub Free State
26 Ayabonga Oliphant Eastern Province

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