Koen happy with Junior Bok camps

Thu, 26 Jan 2017 14:37
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NEWS: SA Rugby Acting High Performance Manager Louis Koen said the objectives were achieved at the two Junior Springbok assessment camps this week.

However, the Springbok said a lot of hard work lies ahead to prepare for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship.

A total of 86 players were invited to the camps, which were hosted at the Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Affies) in Pretoria and Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS), and all the players – with the exception of those preparing for Vodacom Super Rugby and Zain Davids, who is in Wellington with the Springbok Sevens squad – attended the camps.

"We reached the outcomes we had hoped to achieve at the camps," said Koen.

"In terms of conditioning we have work to do, especially with the younger players. But some of the players who have been training with their Super Rugby teams and those who participated in the SA Rugby U19 Championship last season were at a good level.

"The main focus for us was to establish a baseline, and now that we have it we can work from here and plan accordingly. Dr Warren Adams (Springbok conditioning coach) and his team will now communicate with the players and their provincial unions, so that we can make sure they are at the expected levels when the squad is selected and assembles in camp."

A Junior Springbok training squad of 45 players will be selected at the end of February, and will have their first training camp from 5 to 17 March in Cape Town.

This will be followed by a local tour, from March 26 to April 9, where they will play warm-up matches against teams from the Griffons, Griquas and Free State Cheetahs, and a training camp in Cape Town, from April 18 to May 12.

The team will conclude their preparations for the World Rugby U20 Championship with a four-day holding camp in May before they depart for the international spectacle on 25 May.

"We plan to visit the unions so that we can get to the players to follow up on what they did at these camps," said Koen.

"With the assessment camps concluded, we believe our preparations will go smoothly as our planning leading up to the tournament is completed.

"I think we managed to get a great group of players together. They have immense potential and talent and I am very positive about this group. Once the coaching staff are appointed, we will ensure that they are happy and ready to go."

The SA Under-20s will face France, hosts Georgia and Argentina in the pool stages of the World Rugby U20 Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia, on May 31, June 4 and 8 June respectively.

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
England U20 3 3 0 0 14
Australia U20 3 2 0 1 10
Wales U20 3 1 0 2 6
Samoa U20 3 1 0 3 1
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand U20 3 3 0 0 15
Scotland U20 3 2 0 1 9
Italy U20 3 1 0 2 6
Ireland U20 3 0 0 3 2
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa U20 3 2 1 0 12
France U20 3 2 1 0 11
Argentina U20 3 1 0 2 6
Georgia U20 3 0 0 3 0