Utility backs Paul Jordaan, William Small-Smith and Craig Barry have been drafted in to the SA Under-20 training squad that will participate in a four-day conditioning and training camp in Cape Town from Sunday.
The trio will make their first appearance at a national Under-20 training camp after being involved with the Springbok Sevens structures since December 2010. Jordaan made a promising Sevens debut for the Boks in January at the New Zealand Sevens in Wellington, while Small-Smith and Barry, like Jordaan, are products of SARU’s High Performance programme.
The Baby Boks training squad includes prop Frans Malherbe and hooker Siyabonga Ntubeni who will also join the SA U20 training camp for the first time this season after representing the DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province in the respective Vodacom Super Rugby and Vodacom Cup competitions. Lock Eben Etzebeth (UCT Ikeys) and No.8 Arno Botha (Tukkies) competed in Monday evening’s FNB Varsity Cup final in Pretoria, and is also expected to join the Baby Boks in Cape Town on Sunday.
“We are now entering the final stages of our preparations for the forthcoming IRB Junior World Championship and it’s great to have players who comes from our Springbok Sevens structure to join us for the first time,” said SA Under-20 coach Dawie Theron.
“We’ll be selecting the 26 players that will make up the final squad from the group of players that have been invited to this camp. We are where we want to be in terms of exposing our players to international opposition as many of the guys that will join us next week have either played in the international friendlies against Argentina or have competed in the Vodacom Cup or the FNB Varsity Cup.
“While our Vodacom Super Rugby players will be allowed to continue to represent their franchises, we have quite a few players who have excelled in the Vodacom Cup and FNB Varsity Cup who have also been also selected to this squad. The coaches will use this opportunity to fine tune our game structures to ensure that all players that could possibly make the final squad are on the same page.”
The 26-man SA U20 squad that will participate in the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship in Italy during June will be announced during the first week of May.
South Africa U20 Training Squad (player unions in brackets):
Fullbacks: Ulrich Beyers (Blue Bulls), Riaan Britz (Free State)
Wings: Wandile Mjekevu (Golden Lions), Courtnall Skosan (Blue Bulls), Craig Barry (Western Province)
Centres: Francois Venter, Bradley Moolman, William Small-Smith (Blue Bulls), Johan Welthagen (Leopards), Paul Jordaan (Sharks).
Flyhalves: Johan Goosen (Free State), Tony Jantjies (Blue Bulls)
Scrumhalves: Ricky Schroeder (Western Province), Pieter Rademan (Free State), Lohan Jacobs (Blue Bulls)
Loose forwards: Siya Kolisi, Nizaam Carr (Western Province), Marcell Coetzee, Francois Kleinhans (The Sharks), Cornell du Preez (Leopards), Arno Botha (Blue Bulls)
Locks: Eben Etzebeth (Western Province), Carl Wegner (Free State), Jose Julies (Blue Bulls), Ruan Venter (Golden Lions), Reiner Bernado (Eastern Province)
Hookers: Mbongeni Mbonambi (Blue Bulls), Micheal van Vuuren (Eastern Province), Siyabonga Ntubeni (Western Province)
Props: Frans Malherbe, Steven Kitshoff (Western Province), Jon Roy Jenkinson (Platinum Leopards), Stephan Kotze (Free State), Denzil Lindoor (Eastern Province).