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Curwin Bosch, Junior Springboks
Curwin Bosch, Junior Springboks

Junior Springboks Prepare In Pretoria

Curwin Bosch and Zain Davids are amongst 11 players who featured for the Junior Springboks in 2016 and were invited to assessment camps in Pretoria and Stellenbosch as preparations for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Georgia kicks off this week.

A total of 86 players, including Bosch, a nominee for World Rugby U20 Championship Player of the Tournament last year, and Davids, who has been included in the Springbok Sevens squad for the Wellington and Sydney HSBC World Sevens Series tournaments, have been invited to attend assessment camps.

The camps will take place at the Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Affies) in Pretoria on Monday and Tuesday and the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS) on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. The Leopards, Xerox Golden Lions and Vodacom Blue Bulls players will attend the first camp and the Toyota Free State, Cell C Sharks, EP Kings and DHL Western Province players the second camp.

The other players invited to the camp who participated in last year’s U20 Championship in Manchester are utility back Stedman Gans, flyhalf Manie Libbok, scrumhalf Embrose Papier, prop Kwenzo Blose, flyhalf Benhard Janse van Rensburg, looseforward Ernst van Rhyn, locks Cobus Wiese and Ruben de Villiers and prop Carlű Sadie.

2016 SA Schools captain and lock Salmaan Moerat, flyhalf Damian Willemse, centre Manual Rass and fullback Gianni Lombard, meanwhile, were among 12 players who represented the SA Schools squad in the Under-19 International Series in Cape Town last season.

The SA Schools players were nominated by the SA Schools coaches for selection, while the remainder of the squad was nominated by opposition coaches throughout the SA Rugby U19 Championship last season. The selections were confirmed by SA Rugby national selector Peter Jooste and members of SA Rugby’s Rugby Department.

“This is the first step in assembling a Junior Springbok squad that will enter the World Rugby U20 Championship with high expectations in Georgia later this year,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

“Eleven of these players participated in the tournament last year, while several others have come through the SA Schools and SA Schools A teams in the last two seasons, which serves as evidence that our systems are functioning well.

“Some of these players already have an idea of what is expected to reach the top at this level of the game, while their counterparts have been aspiring to reach this level and will be determined to prove their worth at the assessment camps.

“Given the talent on offer, I believe we will be able to put together a top-class squad for the tournament in a few months.”

SA Rugby acting High Performance manager, Louis Koen, who is a former Springbok flyhalf, will facilitate the assessment camps, which will focus on testing the players’ speed, strength and conditioning levels. A Junior Springbok training squad will be named in due course, and is expected to begin their on-field preparations for the tournament early in March.

SA Rugby is currently in the process of appointing a Junior Springbok coach, and an announcement will be made once the process is finalised. The SA Under-20s will face France, hosts Georgia and Argentina in the pool stages of the tournament in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 31 May, 4 June and 8 June respectively.

Junior Springbok assessment squad (position in brackets):

Vodacom Blue Bulls
Ciaran Dayaram (Wing)
Irvin Ali (Centre/Wing)
Stedman Gans (Centre)
Heino Bezuidenhout (Centre)
Manie Libbok (Flyhalf)
Boeta Hamman (Flyhalf)
Embrose Papier (Scrumhalf)
Richman Gora (Scrumhalf)
Jaco Bezuidenhout (Flanker)
Eduan Lubbe (No 8)
Ruben van Heerden (Lock)
Hendre Stassen (Lock/Flanker)
Mashao Mukhari (Prop)
Simphiwe Matanzima (Prop)
Gerhard Steenekamp (Prop)
Cabous Eloff (Prop)
Johan Grobbelaar (Hooker)
Christian Strydom (Centre)
Kwezi Mafu (No 8)
Ryno Pieterse (Lock)
Earll Douwrie (Fullback)
Andell Loubser (Wing/Fullback)

EP Kings
Yaw Penxe (Fullback/Wing)
Kamva Dilima (Lock)
Duan du Plessis (Flanker)

Toyota Free State Cheetahs
Kurt Eybers (Centre)
Rewan Kruger (Centre)
Albertus de Bod (Hooker)
Kwenze Blose (Prop)
Marnus van der Merwe (Hooker)

Xerox Golden Lions
Gianni Lombard (Fullback)
Manuel Rass (Centre)
Jeanluc Cilliers (Fullback/Flyhalf)
Tareeq February (Wing)
Michael Tambwe (Wing)
Stean Pienaar (Scrumhalf/Centre)
Wandisile Simelane (Centre)
Wayne van der Bank (Scrumhalf)
Tyrone Green (Flyhalf)
Louritz Van der Schyff (Centre)
Eddie Fouche (Flyhalf)
Bader-Werner Pretorius (Flyhalf)
Bradley Thain (Scrumhalf)
Hacjivah Dayimani (Flanker/No 8)
Len Massyn (No 8)
Reinhard Nothnagel (Lock)
Adre Smith (Lock/Flanker)
Ruan Vermaak (Lock)
Leo Kruger (Utility forward)
Nathan McBeth (Prop)
HP van Schoor (Hooker)
PJ Botha (Hooker)

Cell C Sharks
Curwin Bosch (Flyhalf)
Ilunga Mukendi (Wing)
Taigh Schoor (Centre)
Francois de Villiers (Scrumhalf)
Clifferd Jacobs (Lock)
Khutu Mchunu (Prop)
Kwandu Dimaza (Utility forward)
Courtney Winnaar (Fullback/Flyhalf)
Benhard Janse van Rensburg (Flyhalf)
Mfundo Ndhlovu (Wing)

Edmund Rheeder (No 8)

DHL Western Province
Josh Vermeulen (Centre/Fullback/Wing)
Ryan Muller (Fullback)
David Brits (Centre)
Cornel Smit (Centre)
Juarno Augustus (Flanker/No 8)
Ernst van Rhyn (Lock/Loose forward)
Zain Davids (Flanker)
Kuyenzeka Xaba (Flanker)
Johan Visser (Flanker)
Cobus Wiese (Lock)
Ruben de Villers (Lock)
Carlu Sadie (Prop)
Wikus Groenewald (Prop)
Lee-Marvin Mazibuko (Prop)
Damian Willemse (Flyhalf)
Muller Uys (Flanker)
Salmaan Moerat (Lock)
Daniel Jooste (Hooker)
Sakoyisa Makata (Wing)
Abner van Reenen (Wing)
Tristan Leyds (Fullback)
Nico Leonard (Centre)
Jondre Williams (Scrumhalf)

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