Nine Junior Boks from last year’s U20 World Championship squad are among 50 players invited to a trials camp in Stellenbosch between 5-17 March.
Curwin Bosch, Zain Davids, Stedman Gans, Manie Libbok, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Embrose Papier, Cobus Wiese, Ruben de Villiers, Ernst van Rhyn and Carlű Sadie are the remaining players from the squad that ended fourth at last year’s tournament in Manchester.
Six players from the 2016 SA Schools side – Salmaan Moerat, Gianni Lombard, Manuel Rass, Wandisile Simelane, Damian Willemse and Muller Uys, were also included in the extended squad.
This camp will be followed by a tour to the central unions from 26 March to 9 April, which will feature warm-up matches against the Griffons, Griquas, Free State Cheetahs before newly appointed coach Chean Roux trims his squad to 28 players.
The 2017 World Rugby U20 Championship will take place in Georgia from 31 May to 18 June.
‘The players who were selected really worked hard, which is very pleasing. They were aware of the fitness and strength standards required at this level of the game at the conclusion of the assessment camps, and we are proud of the work they put in to achieve that,’ said Roux.
‘But that was only the first step in what will be a mentally and physically challenging journey to possibly secure a place in the final 28-man squad. Over the next two months we will be working hard to put our structures and systems in place and to reach the desired fitness and strength requirements we would like to achieve as a team,’ he added.
‘We have three months to get the team ready before their opening match, which is not much time, especially if one considers that the U20 Six Nations teams are at an advanced stage of their season. But that said, we are excited about the challenge ahead and we believe the players will be up for it.’
Junior Springbok training squad
Props: Kwenzo Blose, Wikus Groenewald, Leo Kruger, Andrew Kuhn, Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, Khutu Mchunu, Mashao Mukhari, Carlu Sadie, Gerhard Steenekamp, Abram Venter.
Hookers: Abraham Coetzee, Johan Grobbelaar, Marnus van der Merwe, HP van Schoor.
Locks: Ruben de Villers, Salmaan Moerat, Reinhard Nothnagel, Hendre Stassen, Ruben van Heerden, Cobus Wiese.
Loose forwards: Juarno Augustus, Jaco Bezuidenhout, Hacjivah Dayimani, Zain Davids, Eduan Lubbe, Len Massyn, Kuyenzeka Xaba, Muller Uys, Ernst van Rhyn.
Scrumhalves: Francois de Villiers, Embrose Papier, Bradley Thain, Wayne van der Bank, Jondre Williams.
Flyhalves: Curwin Bosch, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Manie Libbok, Damian Willemse.
Centres: Irvin Ali, Heino Bezuidenhout, Stedman Gans, Manuel Rass, Wandisile Simelane, Cornel Smit.
Wingers: Ciaran Dayaram, Ilunga Mukendi, Mfundo Ndhlovu, Michael Tambwe.
Fullbacks: Gianni Lombard, Yaw Penxe.
Photo: Matt Lewis/Getty Images