Pollard returns for third JWC

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 11:20
Large handre pollardjwc
Bulls flyhalf Handré Pollard will play in the IRB Junior World Championship for the third time after being selected in the SA Under-20 squad announced by SARU in Cape Town on Tuesday.
 
Bulls flyhalf Handré Pollard will play in the IRB Junior World Championship for the third time after being selected in the SA Under-20 squad announced by SARU in Cape Town on Tuesday.
 
The Junior Springboks squad for the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship to be hosted by New Zealand from June 2 to 22, will be bolstered by several players with Super Rugby experience.
 
Pollard, Sharks centre André Esterhuizen, Kings' pair Sergeal Petersen and Aidon Davis as well as Lions hooker Malcolm Marx have all either played Super Rugby or have been part of their respective franchise’s Super Rugby training groups.
 
The squad also sees the return of several players who did duty for the South Africa Under-20’s in France last year, where they claimed the bronze medal.
 
Pollard, who also starred in the 2012 tournament, Davis and Bulls fullback Jesse Kriel all played for the Junior Boks in 2013. 
 
Wing Petersen, who made an impressive debut in Super Rugby for the Kings last year by scoring several stunning tries throughout the season, was also included in the squad but missed the trip to France because of a hamstring injury.
 
South Africa Under-20 coach Dawie Theron and the national selectors, Peter Jooste and Ian McIntosh, selected the 28-man squad following an intensive identification and trials process. 
 
More than 50 players attended the training camp which ran for almost three weeks in Stellenbosch and included two trial matches as well as several training games.
 
The JWC squad returned to their training base in Stellenbosch on Tuesday to continue their preparations for the tournament. This will include a three-match international series against traditional rivals Argentina from May 2 to 10 in the Western Cape.
 
Theron said the weather and playing conditions in New Zealand, as well as a tough pool in which they will play Scotland, New Zealand and Samoa, will contribute to a challenging competition.
 
"Our players are used to dry and fast fields and we will encounter the opposite of these conditions in New Zealand. 
 
These were obvious factors we had to take into account when selecting the squad," explained Theron, who led the Junior Springboks to victory at the 2012 JWC on home soil.
 
He looked forward to working with the finalised squad and said: "We will now intensify our preparations. 
 
"The series against Argentina will give us an ideal opportunity to test our game plan, readiness and decision-making against a very competitive team and in real match situations."
 
Interesting facts:
 
* There are 17 forwards and 11 backs in the squad. As in previous years, the Blue Bulls have supplied the most players (13), followed by the Sharks (5).
 
*  The squad includes two sets of twin brothers, Jean-Luc (flank) and Daniel du Preez (lock, Sharks) and the Kriel twins, Jesse (fullback) and Dan (centre, both Blue Bulls).
 
* The Du Preez twins follow in the footsteps of their older brother Robert, who played flyhalf and centre last year for the Junior Springboks in France. The trio is the sons of former Springbok scrumhalf Robert du Preez.
 
* Flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis (Sharks) is the son of former Springbok wing and coach Carel du Plessis.
 
* The squad will play a three-match international series against Argentina U20 on May 2, 6 and 10.
 
* Their departure to NZ from Cape Town International Airport will be on May 26, a day after the capping ceremony in Stellenbosch.
 
SA Under-20 Squad:
Cyle Brink (Golden Lions, flank), Aidon Davis (EP Kings, No.8), Jean-Luc du Plessis (Sharks, flyhalf), Jean-Luc du Preez (Sharks, flank), Dan du Preez (Sharks, lock), Thomas du Toit (Sharks, prop), Joseph Dweba (Free State, hooker), Corniel Els (Blue Bulls, hooker), Andrè Esterhuizen (Sharks, centre), Warrick Gelant (Blue Bulls, fullback), Lloyd, Greef (Leopards, wing), Dan Kriel (Blue Bulls, centre), Jesse Kriel (Blue Bulls, fullback), Wilco Louw (Blue Bulls, prop), Thabo Mabuza (Golden Lions, flank), Malcolm Marx (Golden Lions, hooker), Duncan Mathews (Blue Bulls, wing), Mthokozisi Mkhabela (Free State, scrumhalf), Ngobisizwe Mxoli (lue Bulls, prop), Abongile Nonkontwana (Blue Bulls, lock), Sergeal Petersen (EP Kings, wing), Handrè Pollard (Blue Bulls, flyhalf), JD Schickerling (Western Province, lock), Pierre Schoeman (Blue Bulls, prop), Victor Sekekete (Golden Lions, flank), Justin Smith (Blue Bulls, scrumhalf), Dayan van der Westhuizen (Blue Bulls, prop), Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg (Blue Bulls, lock).
 
SA U-20 2014 JWC fixtures:
2 June: vs Scotland (North Harbour)
6 June: vs New Zealand (North Harbour)
10 June: vs Samoa (Pukekohe) 
15 June: Playoffs (TBC)
20 June: Finals (Auckland)
There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 August 2016
Griquas v EP Kings 15h00 Kimberley
Fri, 02 September 2016
Boland v Pumas 13h00 Wellington
Blue Bulls v Golden Lions 17h00 Pretoria
Ospreys v Zebre 18h35 Liberty Stadium
Leinster v Treviso 18h35 RDS Arena
Ulster v Dragons 18h35 Kingspan Stadium
Gloucester v Leicester Tigers 18h45 Kingsholm
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 03 September 2016
Saracens v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Twickenham Stadium
Free State Cheetahs v EP Kings 13h00 Bloemfontein
Scarlets v Munster 14h00 Parc y Scarlets
Northampton Saints v Bath 14h30 Franklin's Gardens
Western Province v Sharks 15h10 Cape Town
Harlequins v Bristol 15h30 Twickenham Stadium
Connacht v Glasgow Warriors 16h15 Sportsground
Cardiff Blues v Edinburgh 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Sun, 04 September 2016
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 Ricoh Arena
UNDER-20 WORLD CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Ireland U20 3 3 0 0 13
New Zealand U20 3 2 0 1 10
Wales U20 3 1 0 2 7
Georgia U20 3 0 0 3 1
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
England U20 3 3 0 0 14
Scotland U20 3 2 0 1 9
Australia U20 3 1 0 2 7
Italy U20 3 0 0 3 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina U20 3 3 0 0 13
South Africa U20 3 2 0 1 11
France U20 3 1 0 2 6
Japan U20 3 0 0 3 0