SA Schools select settled combos

Thu, 11 Aug 2016 13:36
Large u19 international series ca

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: With the bulk of the 26-man SA Schools squad being made up of Western Province players, who took top honours in the Under-18 Craven Week for the second successive year, SA Schools coach Lance Sendin had the luxury of selecting a few settled player combinations.

The SA Schools coach Sendin and SA Schools A coach Sean Erasmus on named their teams for the opening round of the Under-19 International Series at City Park Stadium in Crawford, Cape Town, on Friday.

The WP loose trio of Charl Serdyn, Muller Uys and Khanya Ncusane will form a solid loose-forward combination, while their provincial counterparts, fullback Gianni Lombard and wing Mike Mavovana, will also form a key combination at the back along with left wing Sihle Njezula from Eastern Province.

The front-row pairing of Golden Lions prop Nathan McBeth and hooker PJ Botha, who will pack down with Eastern Province Country Districts prop Sazi Sandi, will also be vital against the Welsh pack.

"Given the limited time to prepare for the tournament, it was important to select a few settled player combinations, while at the same time trying to name the strongest possible team," said Sendin.

"Unfortunately, a few players had the flu this week and had to be managed, which also influenced our team selection. That said, we would like to give the players on the bench a good run as well in the match,"

Commenting on the threat posed by Wales, Sendin said: "Wales have come all the way to South Africa and they will be determined to win. The fact that they have played together before will certainly give them confidence. Their rush defence is very good and they have a strong pack of forwards, so they will look to dominate up front, and we are expecting them to use their rolling maul often, so we have to be wary of that,"

Sendin counterpart Erasmus also selected a few settled combinations in his starting line-up to face Italy, with Blue Bulls fullback Abner van Reenen, wing Austin Davids and captain and centre Louritz Van der Schyff joining forces.

In the front row, the familiarity between Sharks hooker Dylan Richardson and prop Gugu Nelani will add stability in the front row.

"We selected a team we thought we would be best suited to the way we plan to play against Italy," said Erasmus.

"We are expecting a physical onslaught from them in the first 20 minutes and a free-flowing game in general. They are a passionate nation and that will certainly show in the way they play, so this will be a tough test for us,"

With the U19 International Series serving as a platform to expose young players to top-class rugby from a young age, all six teams have been allowed to name match-day squads of 26 players. However, only eight replacements may be used on the day.

SA School: 15 Gianni Lombard, 14 Mike Mavovana, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Sihle Njezula, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Rewan Kruger, 8 Khanya Ncusane, 7 Muller Uys, 6 Charl Serdyn, 5 PJ Steenkamp, 4 Salmaan Moerat (captain), 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 PJ Botha, 1 Nathan McBeth.
Replacements: 16 Daniel Jooste, 17 Reece Bezuidenhout, 18 Johan Neethling, 19 Ben-Jason Dixon, 20 JC Pretorius, 21 Richman Gora, 22 Ruan de Swardt, 23 Manuel Rass, 24 Muller du Plessis, 25 Emilio Adonis, 26 Khwezi Mafu.

Date: Friday, August 12
Venue: City Park Stadium, Cape Town
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT; 13.00 BST)
Referee: Matthew O'Grady (England)
Assistant referees: Egon Seconds (South Africa), Nathan Barry (South Africa)
TMO: Joey Klaaste-Salmans (South Africa)

SA School A: 15 Abner van Reenen, 14 Austin Davids, 13 Louritz Van der Schyff (captain), 12 Sicelo Tole, 11 Cameron Hufke, 10 Lubabalo Dobela, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Jessie Johnson, 7 Mark Snyman, 6 Athi Magwala, 5 Christopher Havenga, 4 Jaco van Tonder, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Dylan Richardson, 1 Gugu Nelani
Replacements: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Cabous Eloff, 18 Keagan Glade, 19 Juan van der Mescht, 20 Ryno Pieterse, 21 Dian Schoonees, 22 Zinedine Booysen, 23 Tyrone Green, 24 Tadendaishe Mujawo, 25 Janco van Heyningen, 26 Ayabonga Oliphant.

Date: Friday, August 12
Venue: City Park Stadium, Cape Town
Kick-off: 13.30 (11.30 GMT; 12.30 CEST)
Referee: Adam Jones (Wales)
Assistant referees: Nathan Swartz (South Africa), Gabriel Chirnoga (Italy)
TMO: Joey Klaaste-Salmans (South Africa)