CAPE TOWN - Junior Springboks coach Chean Roux says he's opted for a team that will be able to combat Georgia's physical approach for their World Rugby Under-20 Championship opener on Wednesday (kick-off 6.30pm, SS1).

The Junior Boks will face Georgia in Perpignan before meeting Pool C opponents Ireland on Sunday, June 3 and hosts France on Thursday, June 7.

And while Roux is confident about his "settled" team, he's hoping that their plans prove effective enough to counter the Georgians'.

“We were fortunate to be able to select a settled squad, which will be handy against a physical and passionate Georgian outfit,” said Roux.

“All the players are fit and eager to play, and we selected a team that we thought would be best suited to the game against Georgia.”

"They are a forward-driven team, with a good scrum and lineout maul, so they will probably try to lay the foundation there. But that said, our plans for the game are mapped out and hopefully we can counter that.”

“Georgia play with their hearts on their sleeves and they will take to the field with everything they have."

Flyhalf and vice-captain Damian Willemse, who was the Stormers' first-choice No 10 this Super Rugby season, will make his first appearance of the season for the U20s after missing out on their five warm-up Tests - two against Georgia and a UK tour during which they faced Scotland, Wales and England.

Willemse is one of seven players in the match-day squad who participated in the tournament in Georgia last year, and he will form the halfback pairing with Zak Burger.

Lock and captain Salmaan Moerat, centre Wandisile Simelane, No 8 Muller Uys, fullback Gianni Lombard, hooker Daniel Jooste and replacement scrumhalf Rewan Kruger are the other players that featured in the international tournament in Tbilisi.

Moerat and Ruan Nortje will pair up in the second row, while flankers Dian Schoonees and PJ Steenkamp form the back row along with Uys at No 8.

Rikus Pretorius and Simelane will start in midfield, with Lombard at fullback and Tyrone Green and Sihle Njezula on the wing.

Jooste and props Sazi Sandi and Nathan McBeth will pack down in the front row, and on the bench, replacement lock Ruan Nortje will make his Junior Springbok debut if he comes on after missing the team’s internationals in the lead-up to the tournament due to a knee injury.

Junior Springboks team: 15 Gianni Lombard, 14 Tyrone Green, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Sihle Njezula, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Muller Uys, 7 PJ Steenkamp, 6 Dian Schoonees, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 Daniel Jooste, 1 Nathan McBeth. Replacements:16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Alulutho Tshakweni, 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Ben-Jason Dixon, 20 Ruan Vermaak, 21 Rewan Kruger, 22 Lubabalo Dobela, 23 Lyle Hendricks.

IOL Sport

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