SA U20 squad boosted for Argentina tour
SA Under-20 coach Dawie Theron on Thursday confirmed the inclusion of DHL Western Province flank Siya Kolisi and prop Steven Kitshoff in his squad that will depart for Buenos Aires on Sunday for friendly matches against Argentina U20s on March 19 and 24, and a match against an Argentinean XV on March 16.
The two promising forwards have been part of the DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby training squad, but were released earlier this week to join the Baby Boks on their two-week training camp of South America. The team will play in Absa branded jerseys following the confirmation that the bank will also be sponsoring the SA Under-20 team, as well as the Springboks and Springbok Sevens teams.
“We are thrilled that the touring squad is further strengthened with the inclusion of more players that have been participating in the Vodacom Cup,” said Theron.
“This is a very important tour for us as one of our objectives is to expose our players to international opposition in preparation of the IRB Junior World Championships in Italy.
“The three matches will be a great opportunity for the guys on tour to put their hands up and make a statement. We are touring with a squad of 31 players and everyone will get an opportunity to stake their claim for a place in the final 26-man squad that will compete at the World Championships in June.
“Our intentions are to identify the core group of players that will compete at those Championships as soon as we can. At the same time, we are not excluding those individuals who excel in the domestic South African competitions. They could also be rewarded with selection to our future squads.”
More than a dozen of the players that arrived in Johannesburg earlier today are competing in the Vodacom Cup and in the FNB Varsity Cup. Scrumhalf Ricky Schroeder, lock Eben Etzebeth and flank Nizaam Carr represented the UCT Ikeys during their derby against Maties on Monday. Pukke No 8 Cornell du Preez, flyhalf John Welthagen and prop Jon Roy Jenkins also competed for the Potchefstroom University in their match against Shimlas on the same evening.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls’ Ulrich Beyers (fullback), Courtnall Skosan (wing), Bradley Moolman (centre), centre Francois Venter; together with the Free State Cheetahs fullback Riaan Britz, flyhalf Johan Goosen and scrumhalf Kevin Luiters, and the Golden Lions wing Wandile Mjekevu have all been included in the 31-man squad.
Happy Ntshingila, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for Absa, sent the team a good luck message on the eve of the tour: “As the official team sponsor Absa wishes the SA U20s the best of luck on their Argentina tour as they continue to prepare for the IRB Junior World Championships in Italy in June,” he said.
“A strong development path exists for our rugby talent in South Africa and we look forward to continuing to support and watch these young players as they rise through the ranks, displaying their talents in the Absa Currie Cup and eventually wearing the green and gold of the Springboks.”
The SA U20 touring squad assembled in Johannesburg on Thursday in preparation for their departure to Buenos Aires on Sunday 13 March 2011.
SA U20 Tour fixtures:
16 March: SA U20s v Argentina XV
19 March: SA U20s v Argentina U20s
24 March: SA U20s v Argentina U20s
Updated SA U20 Touring Squad:
Fullbacks: Ulrich Beyers (Blue Bulls), Riaan Britz (Free State)
Wings: Wandile Mjekevu (Lions), Emil Schwarz (The Sharks), Courtnall Skosan (Blue Bulls), Sizo Maseko (Western Province)
Centres: Francois Venter, Bradley Moolman (Blue Bulls), Micheal van der Spuy (Western Province)
Flyhalves: Johan Goosen (Free State),John Welthagen (Leopards), Tony Jantjies (Blue Bulls)
Scrumhalves: Ricky Schroeder (Western Province), Kevin Luiters (Free State)
Loose forwards: Siya Kolisi, Nizaam Carr (Western Province), Francois Kleinhans (The Sharks), Cornell du Preez (Leopards), Arno Botha (Blue Bulls), Jean Cook (Free State).
Locks: Eben Etzebeth (Western Province), Carl Wegner (Free State), Jose Julies (Blue Bulls), Wilhelm van der Sluys (Western Province)
Hookers: Bongi Mbonambi (Blue Bulls), Micheal van Vuuren (Eastern Province)
Props: Steven Kitshoff (Western Province), Juan Schoeman (Blue Bulls), Jon Roy Jenkins (Platinum Leopards), Nicholas Schonnet (The Sharks), Stephan Kotze (Free State)
Players not considered due to involvement with Vodacom Super Rugby and Springbok Sevens: Frans Malherbe, Bonga Ntubeni (DHL Stormers), Jaco Taute (Lions), Marcell Coetzee (The Sharks), Paul Jordaan (Springbok Sevens).
Issued by SARU Communications