Sendin reshuffles pack for French battle
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: SA Schools coach Lance Sendin reshuffled his pack for their second clash in the U19 International Series against France at Paarl Gymnasium on Tuesday, which will see a new front row and flank combination take to the field.
Sendin made six personnel changes and two positional switches to the SA Schools team that went down 28-30 against Wales in Stellenbosch, with props Jordan Clarke and Asenathi Ntlabakanye pairing up with hooker Fezokuhle Mbatha in a new front row.
The new-look loose trio features flanks Mark Snyman and Dylan Richardson, while captain Travis Gordon retains the No.8 jersey. In the backline, meanwhile, centre Yanga Hlalu replaces Rikus Pretorius, while Qamani Kota and Kennedy Mpeku switch places at fullback and wing respectively.
Meanwhile, lock Adrian Alberts has returned home due to concussion, but with sufficient cover among the forwards, Sendin opted to call up Pumas and Hoërskool Nelspruit flyhalf Stephan van der Bank as cover. The injury to Alberts means that the bench will feature 12 players, although only eight replacements may be used during the match.
"The changes we made are mainly give players a chance to start, so that everyone in the squad receives a fair chance to show us what they can do," said Sendin.
"By maintaining player combinations in the backline, however, it offers us some continuity in selection as well.
"We have to perform much better on defence, and that is something we have worked on this week. Our attitude on defence is very important and with that comes first-time tackling, while we also have to make better use of our chances on attack,"
Sendin expected a tough battle against France, who went down 8-24 against England last Friday, and said: "France are a physical side so we are expecting a big onslaught from their forwards. They also like to spread the ball wide and they have a good kicking game, so they will test us,"
SA SCHOOLS: 15 Qamani Kota, 14 Kennedy Mpeku, 13 Diego Appollis, 12 Yanga Hlalu, 11 Muller du Plessis, 10 Christopher Schreuder, 9 Sanele Nohamba,8 Travis Gordon (captain), 7 Dylan Richardson, 6 Mark Snyman, 5 Cristen van Niekerk, 4 Juan van der Mescht, 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 Fezokuhle Mbatha, 1 Jordan Clarke,
Replacements: 16 Ruhann Greyling, 17 Banele Mthenjane, 18 Keagan Glade, 19 Celimpilo Gumede, 20 Jaden Hendrikse, 21 Rikus Pretorius, 22 Conan le Fleur, 23 Nkosikhona Masuku, 24 Morne Brandon, 25 Phendulani Buthelezi, 26 Henco Martins, 27 Vian Fourie