Steenkamp leads powerful Baby Boks
Thu, 25 Apr 2013 11:06
The selection process started last November
Blue Bulls flank Ruan Steenkamp was named 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 Handré Pollard and Sergeal Petersen, who has starred for the Southern Kings in the 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 May 1 to 3 in Stellenbosch, while the full squad will be in camp from May 5 to 12 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 Super Rugby and on the 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, Marné 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 days.
South Africa Under-20: Andrew Beerwinkel, Marné Coetzee, Aidon Davis, Luan de Bruin, Jacques du Plessis, Robert du Preez, Ockert du Toit, Justin Geduld, Irne Herbst, Jannes Kirsten, Cheslin Kolbe, Sylvian Mahuza, Devon Martinus, Luther Obi, Sergeal Petersen, Handré Pollard, Seabelo Senatla, Jan Serfontein, Sithembiso Sithole, Albertus Smith, Roelof Smit, Ruan Steenkamp,
Dries Swanepoel, Stefan Ungerer, Hanco Venter, Dennis Visser, Michael Willemse, Percy Williams
Team management: Dawie Theron (Coach), Jonathan Mokuena (Manager), Phatho Cele (Doctor), Brendan Venter (Assistant coach), Nazeem Adams (Assistant coach), Norman Laker (Video Analyst), Anuerin Robyn (Physio), Warren Adams (Fitness coach), Rayaan Adriaanse (Media Manager), Yusuf Jackson (SARU Rep).
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