LONDON – Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux made six changes to his team for their final UK tour match against England at the Sixways Stadium in Worcester on Friday as he looks to continue testing player combinations, while at the same time maintaining continuity in selection.
The team features a different halfback pairing of flyhalf David Coetzer and scrumhalf Rewan Kruger. Coetzer replaces Lubabalo Dobela, who took a knock to head against Wales, while Wandisile Simelane and Rikus Pretorius will start in the midfield.
The other changes were on the wing where David Kriel comes in for Sihle Njezula, who is among the replacements, and at lock where Ben-Jason Dixon returns to the starting line-up in place of Ruan Nortje after dropping to the bench against Wales due to illness.
The clash marks the team’s final warm-up match before the World Rugby U20 Championship, which will be hosted in the south of France from 30 May to 17 June.
“We are still using our player rotation system, so we would like to give players a chance, while continuing to test our player combinations,” said Roux, who added that he is expecting a tough outing against the hosts, runners-up in the U20 Six Nations earlier this season with four victories in five matches.
“England are a very good side. They almost won the U20 Six Nations and they are a very physical side. They are fresh, and as we played two matches leading up to this match, it will be important for us to be ready mentally and physically on match day.”
The Junior Springboks will arrive in South Africa on Sunday, and the players will have a few days off before assembling at their base in Stellenbosch for their World Rugby U20 Championship holding camp on Sunday, 20 May.
The team will depart for the international spectacle on Friday, 25 May.
The Junior Springbok team to face England is:
15 – Gianni Lombard (Xerox Golden Lions)
14 – David Kriel (DHL Western Province)
13 – Wandisile Simelane (Xerox Golden Lions)
12 – Rikus Pretorius (DHL Western Province)
11 – Tyrone Green (Xerox Golden Lions)
10 – David Coetzer (DHL Western Province)
9 – Rewan Kruger (Toyota Free State)
8 – Muller Uys (DHL Western Province)
7 – PJ Steenkamp (DHL Western Province)
6 – Dian Schoonees (Xerox Golden Lions)
5 – Ben-Jason Dixon (DHL Western Province)
4 – Salmaan Moerat (captain – DHL Western Province)
3 – Sazi Sandi (DHL Western Province)
2 – Schalk Erasmus (DHL Western Province)
1 – Nathan McBeth (Xerox Golden Lions)
16 – Daniel Jooste (DHL Western Province)
17 – Tiaan van der Merwe (Xerox Golden Lions)
18 – Asenathi Ntlabakanye (Xerox Golden Lions)
19 – Phendulani Buthelezi (Cell C Sharks)
20 – Ruan Nortje (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
21 – Jack Hart (Xerox Golden Lions)
22 – Lyle Hendricks (DHL Western Province)
23 – Sihle Njezula (DHL Western Province)
African News Agency (ANA)