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Rugby Championship U20, Round Two - Teams and Predictions

PREVIEW: The Junior Springboks will be looking to punish Australia up front when they meet in Round Two of the Rugby Championship Under-20 tournament in Bokarina on Tuesday.


The South Africans kicked off their campaign with a 13-all draw against New Zealand in terrible conditions at the Sunshine Coast Stadium last Thursday.

Meanwhile, the hosts had a really disappointing start to their tournament when they fell to a 6-25 defeat to Argentina.

The Junior Springboks have pinpointed their set-pieces as an area of concern, and they are ready to right some wrongs against Australia on Tuesday.

“We have analysed our set-piece and it is something we want to fix going forward,” said Junior Bok forwards coach Lumumba Currie.

“We didn’t get good ball because of bad weather, but that is not an excuse.

“We are working on being better at set-pieces, so we can generate momentum from there.


“The plan is to put the opposition under pressure from set-pieces and force them to make errors and then we can start punishing them from there.”

Junior Bok head coach Bafana Nhleko has made several changes to his team for Tuesday’s clash and Currie believes squad rotation is one of the objectives heading into this tournament.

“We want to build depth in our squad. We’ve got a squad of 31 players that are all competitive to play at this level,” said Currie.

“We’ve got three games within 12 days. It is very important that we try and manage our players so that when we get to the third game, we will still have fresh bodies going forward.”


More wet weather is expected for Round Two and Currie believes the experiences in these conditions will put them in good stead for the upcoming World Rugby U20 Championship in the Western Cape in June.

“It’s important that we generate a winning momentum which will put us in a better fighting position going forward to the World Cup [U20 Championship] in two months’ time in the Cape.

“These conditions will be preparing us for the Cape Town weather, but it is important for us to start winning games so that we can get confidence

“We need to have a good squad with good depth, so if we are struggling, we’ve got players that can come in and take over from there.”

The preview continues below…

JF van Heereden quotes

Tuesday’s other Round two game will be between New Zealand and Argentina.

New Zealand U20 head coach Jono Gibbes has made seven changes to his starting XV.

A new halves pairing of Dylan Pledger and Rico Simpson will guide the team around the field at Sunshine Coast Stadium in two of five changes to the backline that started in the 13-13 opening draw against South Africa.

Inside centre Tofuka Paongo comes into the midfield to partner vice-captain Xavi Taele who moves out to centre, while King Maxwell takes his place on the right wing and Sam Coles at fullback.

In the forwards, there are just two changes with Cam Christie coming in at lock and Matt Lowe at openside. Manumaua Letiu and Sika Pole also join the match day squad, with the two front rowers coming into the reserves.

The side is captained once again by hooker Vernon Bason.

Los Pumitas coach Álvaro Galindo made nine changes to the starting line-up and seven changes to the substitute bench.

Among the starters, the appearance of Estanislao Rodríguez, Agustín Sarelli, Tomás Medina and Gregorio Pérez Pardo stands out, who will have their debut in the tournament.

Regarding the substitutes, Alejandro Barrios, Ignacio Torrado and Facundo Rodríguez had their first call-up within the 23. The only ones who maintain their place among the starting XV are Juan Manuel Vivas, Efraín Elías, Juan Pedro Bernasconi, Tomás Di Biase, Tomás Bocco and Benjamín Elizalde.

See below for Tuesday’s teams and predictions

TRC U20 standings after Round One

Tuesday, May 7:

New Zealand v Argentina
(Sunshine Coast Stadium – Bokarina – Kick-off: 17.00; 19.00 NZST; 04.00 ART; 07.00 GMT)


@rugby365com: New Zealand by three points.


New Zealand: 15 Sam Coles, 14 King Maxwell, 13 Xavi Taele, 12 Tofuka Paongo, 11 Frank Vaenuku, 10 Rico Simpson, 9 Dylan Pledger, 8 Malachi Wrampling, 7 Matt Lowe, 6 Andrew Smith, 5 Liam Jack, 4 Cam Christie, 3 Joshua Smith, 2 Vernon Bason (captain), 1 Will Martin.
Replacements: 16 Manumaua Letiu, 17 Sika Pole, 18 Kurene Luamanuvae, 19 Tom Allen, 20 Johnny Lee, 21 Ben O’Donovan, 22 Cooper Grant, 23 Josh Whaanga.

Argentina: 15 Benjamin Elizade, 14 Gregorio Perez Pardo, 13 Tomas Bocco, 12 Tomas Medina, 11 Timoteo Silva, 10 Mateo Fossati, 9 Tomas Di Biase, 8 Juan Pedro Bernasconi, 7 Agustin Sarelli, 6 Julian Rossi, 5 Luciano Asevedo, 4 Efrain Elias (captain), 3 Gael Galvan, 2 Juan Manual Vivas, 1 Estanislao Rodriguez.
Replacements: 16 Marcos Camerlinckx, 17 Diego Correa, 18 Tomas Rapetti, 19 Michael Alejandro Barrios, 20 Ignacio Torrado, 21 Facundo Rodriguez, 22 Santino Di Lucca, 23 Franco Rossetto.

Referee: George Myers
Assistant referees: Griffen Colby, Jeremy Markey
TMO: Brett Cronan

Australia v South Africa
(Sunshine Coast Stadium, Bokarina – Kick-off: 19.00; 11.00 SAST; 09.00 GMT)


@rugby365com: South Africa by 15 points.


Australia: 15 Shane Wilcox, 14 Kauri Tipene-Grace, 13 Frankie Goldsbrough, 12 Ronan Leahy, 11 Angus Staniforth, 10 Cullen Gray, 9 Hwi Sharples, 8 Jack Harley, 7 Dan Sawers, 6 Ben Di Staso, 5 Oliver McRea, 4 Toby Macpherson (captain), 3 Nick Bloomfield, 2 Otavio Tuipulotu, 1 Jack Barrett.
Replacements: 16 Lington Ieli, 17 Bryn Edwards, 18 Tevita Alatini, 19 Harvey Cordukes, 20 Joe Liddy, 21 Doug Philipson, 22 Joey Fowler, 23 David Palu.

South Africa: 15 Michail Damon, 14 Joshua Boulle, 13 Jurenzo Julius, 12 Philip-Albert van Niekerk, 11 Litelihle Bester, 10 Thurlon Williams, 9 Asad Moos, 8 Tiaan Jacobs, 7 Keanu Coetzee, 6 Divan Fuller, 5 JF van Heerden (captain), 4 Bathobele Hlekani, 3 Reno Hirst, 2 Ethan Bester, 1 Mbasa Maqubela.
Replacements: 16 CJ Erasmus, 17 Liyema Ntshanga, 18 Casper Badenhorst, 19 Adam de Waal, 20 Thabang Mphafi, 21 Hassiem Pead, 22 Bruce Sherwood, 23 JC Mars.

Referee: Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nehuen Jauri Rivero (Argentina), James Palmer (Australia)
TMO: Brett Cronan (Australia)


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