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
Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
England U20 3 3 0 0 14
Australia U20 3 2 0 1 10
Wales U20 3 1 0 2 6
Samoa U20 3 1 0 3 1
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand U20 3 3 0 0 15
Scotland U20 3 2 0 1 9
Italy U20 3 1 0 2 6
Ireland U20 3 0 0 3 2
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa U20 3 2 1 0 12
France U20 3 2 1 0 11
Argentina U20 3 1 0 2 6
Georgia U20 3 0 0 3 0