SARU name their 'Baby Boks'

Date published: May 6 2008

The South African Rugby Union has confirmed their U20 team to participate in the inaugural IRB World Junior Championships next month in Wales.

The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has confirmed their U20 team to participate in the inaugural IRB World Junior Championships next month in Wales.

The new tournament, which replaces the traditional U19 World Championships, takes place from 6-22 June.

No less than 16 players who formed part of last year's South Africa U19 squad, have made their way into the U20 team which will be captain by Gerrit-Jan van Velze.

The 26-man squad includes 14 forwards and 12 backs.

The South African selectors have included three players who have played for the Springbok Sevens already as well as two youngsters with Super 14 experience.

Juan de Jong, Robert Ebersohn and Wilton Pietersen, were all capped for the Springbok Sevens team earlier this year.

Centre Stephan Dippenaar and scrum-half Francois Hougaard (both Bulls), are the duo who already boast Super Rugby caps.

In Wales, South Africa will contest Pool B with Samoa, Scotland and the United States.

Eric Sauls, the South Africa U20 coach, said his team was looking forward to the challenge in Wales.

“South Africa has a proud tradition at junior international level with many current Springboks having made their name first at this level,” said Sauls.

“Our squad includes the core of the SA U19 team of last year that performed so admirably before losing to New Zealand in the Cup Final.

“I would like to believe that we have a fair amount of continuity and experience in the squad and this will hopefully contribute to our performances.

“We had two training camps and also played against our French counterparts on four occasions this year, so our preparations have been extremely good. The team is looking forward to the tournament and eager to do well.”

South Africa U20 squad:Cecil Afrika, Wilton Pietersen, Omphile Seabela, Vainon Willis, Lionel Mapoe, Robert Ebersohn, Juande Jongh, Stephan Dippenaar, Stefan Watermeyer, Francois Brummer, Francois Hougaard, Dewaldt Duvenage, Nick Koster, Gerrit-Jan van Velze (c), Luvuyiso Lusaseni, Johan van Deventer, Thiliphatu Marole, Sabelo Nhlapo, Cornel Hess, Martin Muller, Jean Rossouw, Corne Fourie, Frederick Kirsten, Wiehahn Herbst, Henri Bantjes, Pieter van Vuuren