Dawie Theron on Wednesday said he was impressed with the physical make up of his squad who are currently in Cape Town attending an SA Under-20 Trials and Training Camp.
The 40-man squad participated in contact sessions earlier this week and have also undergone core skills training during the past three days in preparation of Saturday’s Trials game which takes place at the Hoerskool Jan Van Riebeeck at 16h00.
“We’ve got a number of big boys in various positions training here with us, and I think it’s fair to say that we could well go on and select one of our most physical squads for the IRB Junior World Championships in Italy later this year,” said Theron.
“The talent here is amazing. I believe that the next Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield, Bryan Habana and John Smit’s that will one day represent the Springboks, will come from this group. It’s going to be a pleasure to work with these guys and prepare them as they become professional rugby players.
“There have been quite a number of guys who have already impressed me with their work ethic on and off the field. We have a couple of Trials and Training games scheduled for the next few days and I am looking forward to see how these guys compete in our structures in these friendlies.
“We also must not forget that we have a few players not here due to Super Rugby commitments.”
Fullback Jaco Taute and winger Wandile Mjekevu have been absent on Vodacom Super Rugby duty with the Lions. Grey centre combination – Jan Serfontein and Andries Swanepoel also remain in contention for selection for the final squad.
The 40-man squad will be divided in to two sides (Blue and Yellow) and will compete in an SA Under-20 Trials match at the Hoerskool Jan Van Riebeek in Cape Town on Saturday at 16h00.
At the conclusion of the Trials game the 40-man squad will be reduced to 30 in preparation for the Baby Boks’ training game against a DHL Western Province side next week.
“What we want to do is here is create a healthy sense of competition amongst the players,” added Theron.
“I am very happy with the mood in the camp if you consider that this is the first time that these guys are playing together as a squad. Everyone is hungry to go to Italy and represent our country at the IRB Junior World Championships, so this is where it all starts.
“We also are in the process of finalising a tour to South America in March where a reduced squad will compete in international friendlies against Argentina. The intention this year will not be to work with huge squads. We want to trim the numbers as quickly as possible so that we know who our contenders are that will play for the Baby Boks in Italy.”