Moerat relishes U20 experience

Sat, 27 May 2017 18:47
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Salmaan Moerat said he was relishing every moment of being part of the Junior Springbok squad for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship.

He added that he hoped that a solid team effort would contribute to a successful campaign for the SA U20.

The 19-year-old lock from Paarl, who captained the SA Schools team last season, hails from a rugby family - with his father Nazim Moerat having represented the former SARU team in the 1980's, while his great uncle Moutie Moerat and his brother in law, Esa Abrahams, founded Vineyards RFC in the 1940's.

Interestingly it was at this club where Moerat started his rugby career at the young age of nine.

"It is an honour and privilege to be part of the Junior Springbok squad playing in the World Rugby U20 Championship," said Moerat.

"My father played rugby many years ago, so this is a big occasion for me and my family. The opportunities we have these days is vastly different to those that my family had, so I would like to make the most of this chance to make them proud.

"Our preparation has gone well since the beginning of March, and we have all learned so much as players thanks to the new dimension the coaches have brought to the finer details of the game. So it is now our responsibility to implement that which we have learned in our matches."

Given his strong rugby roots, it is clear why Moerat has such a deep passion for the sport and a strong desire to build on what he has achieved up to now.

"I grew up with rugby being a large part of my life," said the talented lock.

"As a family we spent most of our spare time watching rugby and we often went to support club games in Paarl. This was undoubtedly a driving force for me to take my rugby seriously, and my family have supported me immensely in this journey. They always try to attend my matches and they motivate me to work hard every day."

His selection for Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux's team this year aside, Moerat's proudest rugby moments include being on the winning Paarl Boys High team in the popular Inter-schools match against Paarl Gymnasium, and leading the SA Schools team as they secured a series whitewash against Wales, France and England in the U19 International Series.

Commenting on their pool fixtures in Tbilisi against France, Georgia and Argentina respectively, Moerat made no secret of the fact that it would be challenging, but he said the players were excited about the opportunity.

"We know it is going to be tough competition, but we are confident in our abilities," said Moerat. "All of our pool opponents are physical teams, but we also pride ourselves on that aspect of our game, so we plan to go out there and give everything."  

The Junior Springboks arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia, on Friday evening for the international showpiece and they wasted no time getting back into the swing of things, as they were back on the field on Saturday morning for their first field training session.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
Fri, 22 December 2017
Wasps v Gloucester 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 22h00 Kingston Park
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Leicester Tigers v Saracens 22h00 Welford Road
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
UNDER-20 WORLD CUP
MORE LOGS
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