Junior Bok squad announced for Bloemfontein camp

Kwenzo Blose

Junior Springbok coach, Chean Roux, on Friday named a squad of 47 players invited to attend the team’s second training camp in Bloemfontein.

The camp runs from 26 March to Sunday, 9 April, with an eye on announcing his squad of 28 for the World Rugby U20 Championship next month.

A total of 33 players will assemble in the City of Roses on Sunday for the two-week camp, which will feature warm-up matches against the Down Touch Griffons, Tafel Lager Griquas and Toyota Free State Cheetahs on 31 March, 5 April and 8 April respectively.

The nine players participating in the final stages of FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International will join the squad as their progress in the tournament permits, while the participation of the five players in contention for Vodacom Super Rugby selection will be determined by their Super Rugby responsibilities.

“This is a big group of players, but the tour to Bloemfontein will offer us an ideal opportunity to test our depth and to make sure we do not leave any stone unturned in trying to select the best possible squad for the World Rugby U20 Championship,” said Roux.

“These players, however, are not the only ones we will be looking at, as there are a few nursing injuries while others are training with the Blitzboks’ team.

“That said, we will reduce the size of the squad as our tour to Bloemfontein progresses, with the idea of trying to identify the best possible squad to travel to Georgia in May.”

Roux said while the first training camp in Stellenbosch mainly focused on improving the players’ individual skills, this camp will zone in on skills and match preparation.

“We certainly achieved what we set out to in the first camp, where the focus was mainly on individual skills,” said Roux. “This camp will differ vastly in that we will play three warm-up games. This will offer us the chance to see the players display these skills in a match situation and how they react under pressure, while also allowing us to test possible player combinations.

“The scoreboard certainly won’t be important to us. This camp is all about the processes and testing our structures and systems as we go along.”

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

Irvin Ali, Juarno Augustus, Jaco Bezuidenhout, Kwenzo Blose, Curwin Bosch, PJ Botha, David Brits, Jean-Luc Cilliers, Hacjivah Dayimani, Francois de Villiers, Ruben de Villiers, Johan Grobbelaar, Wikus Groenewald, Daniel Jooste, Leo Kruger, Rewan Kruger, Manie Libbok, Gianni Lombard, Len Massyn, Simphiwe Matanzima, Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, Khuta Mchunu, Salmaan Moerat, Ilunga Mukendi, Mashao Mukhari, Mfundo Ndhlovu, Reinhard Nothnagel, Embrose Papier, Yaw Penxe, Manuel Rass, Carlu Sadie, Wandisile Simelane, Cornel Smit, Hendre Stassen, Gerhard Steenkamp, Madosha Tambwe, Muller Uys, Wayne van der Bank, Marnus van der Merwe, Ruben van Heerden, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Boan Venter, Cobus Wiese, Damian Willemse, Jondre Williams, Courtney Winnaar, Nama Xaba.