The South African Rugby Union on Wednesday named an extended group of players to attend the SA Under-20 training camp from 10 to 23 April in Cape Town.
This group of players will play two matches against Argentina, on 14 and 21 April in Stellenbosch, while an additional midweek fixture will feature an Invitational side comprising mostly of Under-19 players.
The young Argentineans arrive in South Africa on Easter Monday, 9 April. Two matches are scheduled for the Markotter Stadium (14 and 17 April), while the last fixture will be played at the Danie Craven Stadium on 21 April.
These matches will be the last opportunity for the South Africans to fine-tune their game preparations for the IRB Junior World Championship which takes place later this year in the Mother City. The JWC will be staged at two venues in the Western Cape – the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch and the University of the Western Cape in Bellville and takes places from 4 to 22 June.
Dawie Theron, the SA U20-coach, said the inclusion of several Under-19 players will give him and the national selectors the ideal opportunity to test the strength and depth of his training squad.
“Our planning is on track and this camp will give our players much needed game time against good opposition. We decided to add the midweek fixture so we could mostly bring the Under-19 players into the mix. It will be very good experience for them and another chance for us to test depth of our wider squad,” said Theron.
The coach was also delighted at the number of playing opportunities his squad members are getting at present. “A number of other players in our squad have been playing in Vodacom Super Rugby, the Vodacom Cup and the various Varsity Cup competitions as well, so I’m happy that they are getting game time.”
This assembly follows a similar preparation camp held from 16 to 28 January in Stellenbosch. SARU will announce the official SA U20 squad at the end of April.
The following players were not selected for the training camp due to injury or Vodacom Super Rugby commitments - they will however be considered for the final squad selection: Steven Kitshoff (Western Province), Paul Jordaan (Sharks), Johan Goosen (Free State), William Small Smith (Blue Bulls), Paul Willemse (Golden Lions), Ruan Botha (Golden Lions), Ettiene Oosthuizen (Golden Lions).
The SA U20 training squad is (provincial union followed by name and surname):
Blue Bulls: Abrie Griesel, Hendrik van Wyk, Jan Serfontein, Jason Thomas, Marzuq Maarman, Jaco Visagie, Rudi van Rooyen, Shaun Adendorf, Tony Jantjies, Travis Ismail, Wian Liebenberg, Jacques du Plessis (U19), Andrew Beerwinkel (U19), Leneve Dames (U19), Marvin Orrie (U19), Neethling Fouche (U19), Ruwellyn Isbell (U19).
Free State: Kevin Luiters, JJ de Klerk, Hlanhla Hlungwane (U19).
Golden Lions: Fabian Booysen, Marais Schmidt, Mark Pretorius, Ruan Venter, Vian van der Watt, Harold Vorster (U19).
Sharks: Allan Dell, Franco Marais, Braam Steyn, Khaya Majola, Nicolaas van Dyk, Pieter Steph du Toit.
Western Province: Cobus Nel, Dean Hammond, Dillyn Leyds, Lungelo Chonco, Patrick Howard, Rayn Smid, Kobus van Wyk, Stephan Coetzee, Tshotsho Mbovane, John Ben Kotze (U19).