Junior Boks make eight changes

Date published: June 14 2016

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Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron has made eight changes to his XV to face France in their final pool game of the World Rugby U20 Championship.

The changes, which the coach described as being a case of horses for courses, included two positional switches, with Curwin Bosch and Manie Libbok switching between full-back and fly-half.

The other three changes in the backline were at centre where JT Jackson replaces Franco Naude, while wing Edwill van der Merwe and scrum-half Embrose Papier earn their first starts as replacements for Mosolwa Mafuma and James Hall respectively.

Among the forwards, hooker Jan-Henning Campher and lock Ruben de Villiers were also handed their first starts in place of Tango Balekile and Eduard Zandberg respectively, while Cobus Wiese replaces Ersnt van Rhyn at flank.

Only two players retained their places on the bench from the clash against Argentina, namely props Nicolaas Oosthuizen and Jaco Holtzhausen. They will be joined by Balekile, Hall, Naude, loose forward Denzel Hill, full-back Keanu Vers and Van Rhyn, who will provide cover at lock.

"The changes we partly due to player management, but we also feel that this is the best team for the challenge against France," said Theron.

"We need to go out there and get the bonus point, and we believe this team is the best equipped to get us that result. This is an all or nothing game for us."

Theron expected a challenging task against France, but he said his team had the determination and skill to play their way into the semi-final.

"France have a solid set piece and they like to run the ball, so we have to challenge them up-front and shut down their space," said Theron.

"For us in particular, our defence and breakdown play has to be effective.

"The players have been working very hard this week to improve the areas of our game that let us down and they are positive that we can secure a semi-final berth."

Junior Springboks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 S’busiso Nkosi, 13 Jeremy Ward (c), 12 JT Jackson, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Junior Pokomela, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Zain Davids, 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Ruben de Villiers, 3 Carlü Sadie, 2 Jan-Henning Campher, 1 Franco van den Berg
Replacements: 16 Tango Balekile, 17 Nicolaas Oosthuizen, 18 Jaco Holtzhausen, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Denzel Hill, 21 James Hall, 22 Franco Naude, 23 Keanu Vers

Date: Wednesday, June 15
Venue: Manchester City Academy Stadium
Kick-off: 19:45 local (18:45 GMT)
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)
Assistant Referees: Juan Sylvestre (Argentina), Andrew Jackson (England)
TMO: Trevor Fisher (England)

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