Steenkamp leads powerful SA U20 JWC squad
Ruan Steenkamp, the Vodacom Blue Bulls flanker, was on Thursday named as captain of South Africa’s Under-20 squad for the IRB Junior World Championship, which will be staged during June in France.
Steenkamp leads a powerful squad of 28 players which include the 2012 IRB Junior Player of the Year, Jan Serfontein, 2012 JWC winning flyhalf Handrè Pollard and Sergeal Petersen, who has starred for the Southern Kings in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition.
As part of their final preparations, the SA U20 JWC squad will play the senior Namibian team on 11 May in Cape Town. The 15 forwards will get together from 1-3 May in Stellenbosch while the full squad will be in camp from 5-12 May to fine tune their tournament preparations.
Dawie Theron, the SA U20-coach who last year led the Junior Springboks to their first JWC title, said the national selectors have picked the strongest available squad.
“The identification, monitoring and selection process of this squad started last November, when we staged the first set of trial matches,” said Theron. “An extended training group was then identified. These players participated in various training camps, training matches and also the most recent tour to Argentina.
“I am therefore very satisfied and pleased with the final squad and we now need to fine tune our preparations before we travel to France. There are some exciting young talent, some players with previous JWC experience while others have played Vodacom Super Rugby and on the HSBC Sevens World Series circuit.
“I am looking forward to working with this squad in the forthcoming month and to see them in action in what promised to be a very tough and demanding tournament in France,” said Theron.
Cheslin Kolbe, Seabelo Senatla and Justin Geduld are full Springbok Sevens internationals while Serfontein and Pollard were both part of the successful 2012 JWC squad.
Aidon Davis, Sergeal Petersen and Pollard are all members of the successful 2012 SA Schools team, while a further six players – Dries Swanepoel, Jacques du Plessis, Steenkamp, Percy Williams, Marne Coetzee and Serfontein – were members of the 2011 SA Schools team.
Steenkamp led the SA Schools in 2011 against France while he was also skipper of Monument Hoërskool in Krugersdorp during his schoolboy rugby days.
The SA Under-20 squad is:
|Aidon||Davis||EP Kings||Number 8|
|Luan||De Bruin||Free State||Prop|
|Jacques||Du Plessis||Blue Bulls||Lock|
|Ockert||Du Toit||Free State||Hooker|
|Dr. Phatho Cele||Doctor|
|Brendan Venter||Assist coach|
|Nazeem Adams||Assist coach|
|Norman Laker||Video Analyst|
|Warren Adams||Fitness coach|
|Rayaan Adriaanse||Media Manager|
|Yusuf Jackson||SARU Rep|
The confirmed team activities for the SA U20 JWC squad are:
1-3 May: Forwards assemble in Stellenbosch for specialised training
5-12 May: Team building and training camp at Stellenbosch
11 May: International friendly versus senior Namibia team – Cape Town venue TBC
26-30 May: Full squad attend holding camp in Stellenbosch
29 May: Capping ceremony in Stellenbosch
30 May: Squad departure to France from the Cape Town International Airport
5 June: SA U20 vs. USA, La Roche sur Yon, France
9 June: SA U20 vs. England, La Roche sur Yon, France
13 June: SA U20 vs. France, La Roche sur Yon, France
18 June: JWC playoffs – TBC
23 June: JWC playoffs – TBC
Photo: Handre Pollard