Junior Boks kick off 2019 preparations
October 31, 2018
Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux invited two squads of 74 Under-19 and Under-18 players for assessment camps in Stellenbosch in November and January with an eye on preparing for next year’s World Rugby U20 Championship in Argentina.

The U19 squad includes 2017 World Rugby U20 Championship players Rikus Pretorius, Asenathi Ntlabakanye and Phendulani Buthelezi, as well as another capped Junior Springbok player, David Kriel, who participated in the team’s warm-up matches in the lead-up to the international spectacle in the south of France earlier this year. The Junior Springboks won the bronze medal in the showpiece this season after defeating New Zealand in the third-place playoff.

More than half of the players in the combined squads represented the SA Schools team in the Aon Under-18 International Series in the last two seasons, with 2018 captain Adrian Alberts and vice-captain Muzi Manyike among them, while seven players represented the SA U18 Sevens team in international tournaments this season. Another player, Henk Cilliers, is currently a member of the SA Rugby Academy Sevens programme in Stellenbosch.

A total of 42 players have been invited to the first assessment for U19s, which will be hosted at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS) from Sunday 11 to Tuesday 27 November this year, while 32 players have been invited to the U18 camp set to run from Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 January 2019. Players from both squads will be eligible for selection for the World Rugby U20 Championship.

The Junior Springboks’ preparations for the World Rugby U20 Championship include three internationals in Stellenbosch against Georgia on Tuesday, 9 April, Argentina on Saturday, 13 April, and the USA on Wednesday, 17 April. This will be followed by a UK tour the following week for a three-match tour. The first match on tour will be against the England U20s on Friday, 26 April, while the other two fixtures are yet to be confirmed.

“The assessment camps in November and January will offer us a fantastic opportunity to work with the players and assess their skills,” said Roux.

“The players selected for these camps, which includes a number of standout performers that were not part of the previous Junior Elite Player Development camps, are by no means the only players we will look at in the lead-up to the World Rugby U20 Championship. The door is open to any player who puts up his hand to make his way into the squad, as we are only finalising our Junior Springbok training squad in April.”

Roux was excited about hosting the assessment camps several months before the World Rugby U20 Championship and said: “Proper planning is vital in achieving success. This is something the coaches have been talking about for a while, so it is fantastic to have direction on where we are going and what we would like to achieve next season now already.”

Players invited to the Junior Springbok U19 assessment camp:

Props – Dian Bleuler (DHL Western Province), Keagan Glade (Xerox Golden Lions), Kudzwai Dube (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Francois Klopper (Cell C Sharks), Nkosikhona Masuku (Xerox Golden Lions), Asenathi Ntlabakanye (Xerox Golden Lions), James Scott (Cell C Sharks).

Hookers – Fezokuhle Mbatha (Cell C Sharks), Dameon Venter (Xerox Golden Lions).

Locks – Juandre Labuschagne (Cell C Sharks), Elrigh Louw (Toyota Free State), Janko Swanepoel (Vodacom Blue Bulls), JJ van der Mescht (Cell C Sharks), Deon van Niekerk (Toyota Free State).

Loosforwards – Phendulani Buthelezi (Cell C Sharks), Vian Fourie (Cell C Sharks), Francke Horn (DHL Western Province), Orateng Koikanyang (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Jaco Labuschagne (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Mandisi Mthiyane (Xerox Golden Lions), Dylan Richardson (Cell C Sharks), Mark Snyman (Xerox Golden Lions).

Scrumhalves – Vusile Dlepu (DHL Western Province), Sylvester Hassien (Leopards), Sanele Nohamba (Cell C Sharks).

Flyhalves – Henry Chamberlain (Cell C Sharks), Vaughen Isaacs (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Christopher Schreuder (DHL Western Province).

Centres – Henk Cilliers (Cell C Sharks), Murray Ralf Koster (Cell C Sharks), James Henry Mollentze (Toyota Free State), Jay Cee Nel (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Marnus Potgieter (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Rikus Pretorius (DHL Western Province).

Outside Backs – Thaakir Abrahams (Cell C Sharks), Angelo Davids (DHL Western Province), Caleb Dingaan (Cell C Sharks), Sabastian Jobb (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Qamani Kota (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Asanda Kunene (Cell C Sharks), David Kriel (DHL Western Province), Conan Le Fleur (Cell C Sharks), Prince Nkabinda (Xerox Golden Lions).

Players invited to the Junior Springbok U18 assessment camp:

Props – Jacobus Herman Agenbag (Toyota Free State), Dewald Donald (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Mthokozisi Gumede (Cell C Sharks), Hanru Jacobs (DHL Western Province), Thabiso Mdletshe (Cell C Sharks), Banele Mthenjane (iCOLLEGE Pumas).

Hookers – Morne Brandon (Xerox Golden Lions), JJ Kotze (DHL Western Province).

Locks – Adrian Alberts (DHL Western Province), Lunga Ncube (Cell C Sharks), Emile van Heerden (DHL Western Province).

Loosforwards – Tristan Dullisear (Xerox Golden Lions), Celimpilo Gumede (Cell C Sharks), Evan Roos (DHL Western Province), Sibusiso Sangweni (Cell C Sharks), Uzile Tele (Border).

Scrumhalves – Ross Braude (Toyota Free State), Thomas Bursey (Border), Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks).

Flyhalves – Lloyd April (Boland), Juan Mostert (DHL Western Province), Dylan Pretorius (Cell C Sharks).

Centres – Rynhardt Jonker (Cell C Sharks), Christie Grobbelaar (Boland), Dawid Kellerman (DHL Western Province), Brendan Venter (DHL Western Province), Mnombo Zwelendaba (Border).

Outside Backs – Diego Appollis (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Richard Kriel (Toyota Free State), Muzi Manyike (Xerox Golden Lions), Sibabalwe Xamlashe (Border).