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Pollard pivotal to shuffled Baby Boks

Wed, 12 Jun 2013 13:35
Handr_-pollard-sa-u20 Justin-geduld-signing Handrepollardcapping
It is important that we bring in some fresh legs
Quote-end

South African Under-20 coach Dawie Theron has shuffled his team for their vital Pool A match at the IRB Junior World Championship.

The Baby Boks face hosts France at La Roche-sur-Yon on Thursday.

The Junior Springboks are currently top of their pool with nine points from two matches and need a victory to book themselves a spot in next week's semifinals.

For the match against JWV hosts France, the South Africans will field a new centre combination, a changed halfback pairing and two different props.

Justin Geduld suffered a mild knee ligament sprain against England and will be rested for this match. Depending on his progress, he will be considered for the next match.

Stefan Ungerer had a dental procedure during the week and because he also played in the two previous matches, it was decided to give him a well-deserved rest.

Handré Pollard moves from inside centre to flyhalf. Rohan Janse van Rensburg moves into the No.12 jersey alongside his Blue Bulls teammate Dries Swanepoel, who will now wear the No.13 jersey.

Robert du Preez (the Sharks) moves to the bench to make place for Pollard at No.10 while his provincial teammate Hanco Venter earns his first start of the JWC campaign in place of Stefan Ungerer (also the Sharks).

The new props are Sti Sithole (Western Province) and Marné Coetzee (Sharks) and the pair replace Luhan de Bruin and Andrew Beerwinkel. Meanwhile, Devon Martinus (prop, Blue Bulls) and Percy Williams (scrumhalf, Golden Lions) are both included in the match 23 for the first time.

De Bruin was cited for an incident in the previous fixture against England and was not considered for selection for this match while SARU is appealing the sanction.

The coach said it was necessary to change the team after the same match fifteen did duty against the United States and England.

"We played a tough match against England so it is important that we bring in some fresh legs," Theron said.

"This match against France is a crucial one for both teams. We cannot afford to lose because there are still a number of teams who can grab the four semifinal spots.

"We know we are going to face a very brave and passionate French team.

"They are under pressure because of their loss against England and also because of the expectations of their home fans. They will be highly motivated so we will have to be strong and ready for a huge battle," added Theron.

Some interesting tournament statistics:
* Five teams are still unbeaten at JWC 2013 in defending champions South Africa, New Zealand, and last year's semifinalists Wales and Argentina plus Ireland.
* Seven of the 12 teams at JWC 2013 can, theoretically, still reach the semifinals.
* South Africa continue to head the try-scoring sheets at JWC 2013 with 19 after two rounds. New Zealand are the only other team into double figures, while Fiji and USA remain the only teams yet to have crossed the whitewash.
* Seabelo Senatla, the South African flyer, took his try tally to six with a first-half brace against England in La Roche-sur-Yon. Senatla is now just two tries short of the record number of tries in a single JWC which is currently held by All Blacks Zac Guildford (2009) and Julian Savea (2010).
* Robert du Preez, the Junior Boks' flyhalf, continues to head the conversions chart with eight, two more than his opposite number on day two, Henry Slade of England.

France v South Africa
(Stade Henri Desgrange, La Roche-sur-Yon - Kick-off: 20.45; 18.45 GMT)

Teams:

France: TBC

South African: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Luther Obi, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Hanco Venter, 8 Ruan Steenkamp, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Dennis Visser, 4 Irné Herbst, 3 Marné Coetzee, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Sti Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Beerwinkel, 17 Mike Willemse, 18 Jannes Kirsten, 19 Aidon Davis, 20 Percy Williams, 21 Robert du Preez, 22 Jesse Kriel, 23 Devon Martinus.

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce (England), Flavien Hourquet (France)

England v United States
(Stade Henri Desgrange, La Roche-sur-Yon - Kick-off: 18.45; 16.45 GMT)

England made 11 changes from the side that lost 24-31 to South Africa earlier this week, as they prepare to take on the United States.

With a semifinal spot still up for grabs, England need to ensure a bonus point victory to stand any chance of progressing.

Northampton Saints scrum half Alex Day captains the side for the first time.

Teams:

England: 15 Ollie Devoto, 14 Ben Howard, 13 Tom Stephenson, 12 Harry Sloan, 11 Henry Purdy, 10 Will Hooley, 9 Alex Day (captain), 8 David Sisi, 7 Joel Conlon, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Tom Price, 4 Harry Wells, 3 Tom Smallbone, 2 Scott Spurling, 1 Alec Hepburn.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Morris, 17 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Dominic Barrow, 20 Jack Clifford, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Jack Nowell.

United States: TBC

Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland), Mathieu Noirot (France)

Wales v Argentina
(Stade Henri Desgrange, La Roche-sur-Yon - Kick-off: 16.45; 14.45 GMT)

Wales Under-20 coach Danny Wilson has made seven changes and two positional for the Pool C decider against Argentina.

The sides have both beaten Samoa and Scotland in their Pool games to date and the winner of this match will be guaranteed a place in the JWC semifinals for the second successive year.

Teams:

Wales: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Owen Jenkins, 13 Steffan Hughes, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Ashley Evans, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Ieuan Jones,  7 Ellis Jenkins (captain), 6 Sion Bennett, 5 Rhodri Hughes, 4 Carwyn Jones, 3 Nicky Thomas, 2 Ethan Lewis, 1 Gareth Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Dan Suter, 19 Jack Jones, 20 James Benjamin, 21 Joshua Davies, 22 Jordan Williams, 23 Harri Evans.

Argentina: TBC

Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland), Flavien Hourquet (France)

New Zealand v Ireland
(Stade de la Rabine, Vannes - Kick-off: 18.45; 16.45 GMT)

New Zealand Under-20 coach Chris Boyd made six changes from the starting XV that beat Australia 14-10 in their second pool match.

In the forwards Boyd Wiggins will get his first start of the tournament at tighthead prop with Sione Mafileo moving to the reserves. There is one further change in the tight five with Christopher Vui starting at lock. Joseph Edwards played on the blindside flank against Australia, and he will move to No.8, making way for Jordan Manihera who will start in the No.6 jersey.

There are three further changes in the backs; Tayler Adams will start at scrumhalf. Two-try hero from the opening match, Michael Collins, comes back into the run-on XV at centre and the final change in the backline is Lolagi Visinia who lines up in the right wing.

Teams:

New Zealand: 15 Joseph Webber, 14 Lolagi Visinia, 13 Jason Emery, 12 Michael Collins, 11 Fa'asiu Fuatai, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Tayler Adams, 8 Joseph Edwards, 7 Ardie Savea (captain), 6 Jordan Manihera, 5 Christopher Vui, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Boyd Wiggins, 2 Epalahame Faiva, 1 Donald Brighouse.
Replacements: 16 Kalafi Pongi, 17 Nick Grogan, 18 Scott Scrafton, 19 Hadleigh May, 20 Teihorangi Walden, 21 Sheridan Rangihuna, 22 Jade Te Rure, 23 Sione Mafileo.

Ireland: TBC

Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant referees: Shuhei Kubo (Japan), Christophe Mallet (France)

Australia v Fiji
(Stade de la Rabine, Vannes - Kick-off: 20.45; 18.45 GMT)

Australian Under-20 coach Adrian Thompson has rung in the changes for his side's final pool match, making 11 alterations to the starting side to face Fiji.

Thompson has made significant changes to the side that fell 10-14 to New Zealand, with only captain Curtis Browning, lock Tom Staniforth, flyhalf Reece Hodge and wing Alex Northam retaining starting spots.

With losses to Ireland, 19-15, and New Zealand already in pool play, the Australians are out of the race for the Championship title and must now commit their energy to improving on last year's placing of eighth.

Teams:

Australia: 15 Ulupano Seuteni, 14 Brad Lacey, 13 Henry Taefu, 12 Luke Burton, 11 Alex Northam, 10 Reece Hodge, 9 Waldo Wessels, 8 Curtis Browning (captain), 7 Mark Baldwin, 6 Michael Wells, 5 Tom Staniforth, 4 Senio Toleafoa, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 Pettowa Paraka.
Replacements: 16 Maile Ngauamo, 17 Silatolu Latu, 18 Phil Kite, 19 Jack Dempsey, 20 Patrick Sio, 21 Angus Pulver, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Harry Parker.

Fiji: TBC

Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Shuhei Kubo (Japan), Christophe Mallet (France)

Scotland v Samoa
(Stade Pascal Laporte, Nantes - Kick-off: 19.00; `17.00 GMT)

Teams:

Scotland: TBC

Samoa: TBC

Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry (South Africa), Christophe Dutreuilh (France)

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