Junior Boks mix it up
Junior Boks mix it upSHARE
Junior Springboks coach Dawie Theron has retained only six players from the team that beat New Zealand for their final pool match against Samoa on Tuesday.
In the forward pack hooker Corniel Els, locks JD Schickerling and Nico Janse van Rensburg and No.8 Aidon Davis all played against the NZ Under-20’s and will also start against Samoa in Pukekohe.
Amongst the backs, the halfback pairing of JP Smith and Handré Pollard were kept intact while Sergeal Petersen is the only other outside back who will start.
Pierre Schoeman and Wilco Louw return as props, Thabo Mabuza is given a first start at openside flank while a fit-again Jacques Vermeulen returns at blindside flank after missing the New Zealand match with an ankle injury.
Duhan van Merwe will play left wing, Sharks centre Andre Esterhuizen is fully fit again after his head knock against Scotland and therefore starts in the No.12 jersey while Dan Kriel moves from inside centre to no play in the No.13 jersey.
His twin brother, Jesse, moves from outside centre to fullback.
The Junior Boks currently sit in first place with maximum points (10) on top of the Pool C standings after two convincing victories over Scotland and New Zealand. A point from their final pools fixture against the powerful Samoan outfit will guarantee them qualification for the semifinals on June 15.
Theron said the threat of Samoa cannot be taken lightly.
"They showed against New Zealand and Scotland they can be dangerous and we have prepared very well for this match. We want to make sure we qualify for the semifinals and will play our best team because this is now our most important match," said Theron.
The Junior Springbok coach said his side will be looking to keep maintain the momentum his side has managed to gather during their previous two pool matches.
"We have done our homework very thoroughly and will leave nothing to chance. This is a very tough tournament to compete in so you have to be at your best in each match," he explained.
South Africa U20: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Handré Pollard (captain), 9 JP Smith, 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Thabo Mabuza, 5 Nico Janse van Rensburg, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Corniel Els, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Mox Mxoli, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Victor Sekekete, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Zee Mkhabela, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Warrick Gelant.
Date: Tusday, June 10
Venue: ECOLight Stadium, Pukekohe
Kick-off: 19.35 (05.35 GMT; 0735 SA time)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Federico Anselmi (Argentina), Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)