EDINBURGH, Scotland - The Junior Springboks will be determined to get their UK tour off to a strong start on Friday when they meet Scotland on the Murrayfield B Fieldon their World Rugby U20 Championship warm-up tour (kick-off 14h00).
Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux named six players who were members of the 2017 U20 Championship squad in the starting line-up for the game, while almost all the player combinations featured in Tests against Georgia in Stellenbosch last month.
The starting line-up is very similar to that which played in the first clash against Georgia. The four players in the starting team that featured in the second Georgian match are prop Sazi Sandi, lock Ruan Nortje, No 8 Muller Uys and winger Sihle Njezula.
“We tried to give all the players a fair chance to stake a claim for places in the squad in the matches against Georgia,” said Roux. “The focus on this tour, however, is to develop solid player combinations with an eye on the World Rugby U20 Championship.
“Most of the players have played in these combinations in the last month, while some of them have come a long way together at their provincial unions, which is good from a team perspective going into the match.”
The coach was pleased with the way the team adapted to the journey to Edinburgh and the weather conditions and said: “The players have been here for a few days now and they have trained in the cold and wet conditions, so they know exactly what to expect on match day and for the rest of the tour.”
Roux expected a testing encounter against Scotland, but he said their focus would be on ensuring that his charges implement their structures effectively.
“Scotland will enter the match as a settled unit with a full U20 Six Nations campaign behind them, so we are expecting a solid test, but that is exactly what we want as a team.
“They generally try to gain ascendancy with their forwards, so the set pieces will be important, but they also have good attacking backs, so we need to deliver a solid performance all around.
“That said, our focus is on what we would like to do as a team, and in order to achieve that we have to be effective at implementing our systems for the full 80 minutes. Every match on this tour is significant with an eye on the World Rugby U20 Championship.”
Junior Springbok team: 15 Gianni Lombard (Xerox Golden Lions), 14 Tyrone Green (Xerox Golden Lions) 13 Wandisile Simelane (Xerox Golden Lions), 12 Rikus Pretorius (DHL Western Province), 11 Sihle Njezula (DHL Western Province), 10 Lubabalo Dobela (Toyota Free State), 9 Rewan Kruger (Toyota Free State), 8 Muller Uys (DHL Western Province), 7 PJ Steenkamp (Xerox Golden Lions), 6 Dian Schoonees (Xerox Golden Lions), 5 Ruan Nortje (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 4 Salmaan Moerat (capt - DHL Western Province), 3 Sazi Sandi (DHL Western Province), 2 Daniel Jooste (DHL Western Province), 1 Alulutho Tshakweni (Eastern Province).
Replacements: 16 Schalk Erasmus (DHL Western Province), 17 Tiaan van der Merwe (Xerox Golden Lions), 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye (Xerox Golden Lions), 19 Ben-Jason Dixon (DHL Western Province), 20 Phendulani Buthelezi (Cell C Sharks), 21 Zak Burger (Cell C Sharks), 22 Manuel Rass (Xerox Golden Lions), 23 David Kriel (DHL Western Province).
African News Agency (ANA)