Roux chooses cream of SA's junior crop
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux on Friday named a squad of 47 players invited to attend the team's second training camp in Bloemfontein.
The camp will run from March 26 to April 9, with an eye on announcing his squad of 28 for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship next month.
A total of 33 players will assemble in the City of Roses on Sunday for the two-week camp, which will feature warm-up matches against the Griffons, Griquas and Free State Cheetahs on March 31, April 5 and April 8 respectively.
The nine players participating in the final stages of Varsity Cup will join the squad as their progress in the tournament permits, while the participation of the five players in contention for Super Rugby selection will be determined by their Super Rugby responsibilities.
"This is a big group of players, but the tour to Bloemfontein will offer us an ideal opportunity to test our depth and to make sure we do not leave any stone unturned in trying to select the best possible squad for the World Rugby U20 Championship," said Roux.
"These players, however, are not the only ones we will be looking at, as there are a few nursing injuries while others are training with the BlitzBoks' team.
"That said, we will reduce the size of the squad as our tour to Bloemfontein progresses, with the idea of trying to identify the best possible squad to travel to Georgia in May."
Roux said while the first training camp in Stellenbosch mainly focused on improving the players' individual skills, this camp will zone in on skills and match preparation.
"We certainly achieved what we set out to in the first camp, where the focus was mainly on individual skills," said Roux. "This camp will differ vastly in that we will play three warm-up games. This will offer us the chance to see the players display these skills in a match situation and how they react under pressure, while also allowing us to test possible player combinations.
"The scoreboard certainly won't be important to us. This camp is all about the processes and testing our structures and systems as we go along."
The SA Under-20s will face France, Georgia and Argentina in the pool stages of the World Rugby U20 Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia, on May 31, June 4 and June 8 respectively.
Players invited to Junior Bok Bloemfontein camp: Irvin Ali (Blue Bulls), Juarno Augustus (Western Province), Jaco Bezuidenhout (Blue Bulls), Kwenzo Blose (Free State Cheetahs), Curwin Bosch (Sharks), PJ Botha (Golden Lions), David Brits (Western Province), Jean-Luc Cilliers (Golden Lions), Hacjivah Dayimani (Golden Lions), Francois de Villiers (Sharks), Ruben de Villiers (Western Province), Johan Grobbelaar (Blue Bulls), Wikus Groenewald (Western Province), Daniel Jooste (Western Province), Leo Kruger (Golden Lions), Rewan Kruger (Free State Cheetahs), Manie Libbok (Blue Bulls), Gianni Lombard (Golden Lions), Len Massyn (Golden Lions), Simphiwe Matanzima (Blue Bulls), Lee-Marvin Mazibuko (Western Province), Khuta Mchunu (Sharks), Salmaan Moerat (Western Province), Ilunga Mukendi (Sharks), Mashao Mukhari (Blue Bulls), Mfundo Ndhlovu (Sharks), Reinhard Nothnagel (Golden Lions), Embrose Papier (Blue Bulls), Yaw Penxe (EP Kings), Manuel Rass (Golden Lions), Carlű Sadie (Western Province), Wandisile Simelane (Golden Lions), Cornel Smit (Western Province), Hendre Stassen (Blue Bulls), Gerhard Steenkamp (Blue Bulls), Madosha Tambwe (Golden Lions), Muller Uys (Western Province), Wayne van der Bank (Golden Lions), Marnus van der Merwe (Free State Cheetahs), Ruben van Heerden (Blue Bulls), Benhard Janse van Rensburg (Sharks), Boan Venter (Free State Cheetahs), Cobus Wiese (Western Province), Damian Willemse (Western Province), Jondre Williams (Western Province), Courtney Winnaar (Sharks), Nama Xaba (Western Province).