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Under-20 Championship, Round Two - Teams and Predictions

PREVIEW: Junior Springbok coach Bafana Nhleko is preparing his side for a huge physical battle in Thursday’s World Rugby Under-20 Championship encounter with Argentina in Stellenbosch.

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Nhleko has tweaked the starting XV by making five changes to the run-on side that started in the win over Fiji.

The inclusion of Bruce Sherwood (fullback) and Phillip-Albert van Niekerk (inside centre) are the changes in the backline, in place of Michail Damon, who will sit out this clash, and Josh Boulle, who has been included on the bench.

Amongst the forwards, Thabang Mphafi moves from the No.7 flanker to the other side of the scrum to play in the No.6 jersey where he replaces Sibabalwe Mahashe, who in turn moves to the replacement bench.

Elsewhere in the starting pack, Jaco Grobbelaar is set to make his debut at lock in place of Bathobele Hlekani, who will start at flank.

Meanwhile, Nhleko has opted for a split of six forwards and two backs on the bench in anticipation of a huge battle up front with the powerful Argentine pack.

“When we faced them two months ago in Australia, as well as during a strong first-half showing against England on Saturday [in Athlone’, Argentina displayed their impressive forward power, so we have to be prepared to deal with that,” said Nhleko.

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Nhleko explained the variations to the matchday 23: “Whilst we wanted to keep the spine of the team intact, we must manage the load of the players sensibly because this is a demanding tournament due to the short turnaround time between matches and being adaptable in different circumstances.

“I am pleased for Jaco who missed the Australian tour with injury and his selection, coupled with the other tweaks, are part of the process to freshen up the team and also adapting to how we want to play against different opposition.

“We have a hardworking squad who are all contributing positively even when not playing.

“They are eager to continue with their learning, growth, and togetherness as a group.”

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England will face Fiji in Pool C’s other encounter before the Junior Boks take on Argentina.

Meanwhile, Pool A’s fixtures will see Wales take on Spain and France up against New Zealand.

In Pool B, Ireland will face Georgia before Australia go up against Italy.

See below for Thursday’s teams and Predictions!

Thursday, July 4:

Ireland v Georgia
(Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch – Kick-off: 14.00; 13.00 UK & IRE time; 12.00 GMT; 16.00 GET)

Prediction

@rugby365com: Ireland by 21 points.

Teams:

Ireland: 15 Ben O’Connor, 14 Davy Colbert, 13 Sam Berman, 12 Hugh Gavin, 11 Ruben Moloney, 10 Sean Naughton, 9 Oliver Coffey, 8 Luke Murphy, 7 Max Flynn, 6 Sean Edogbo, 5 Evan O’Connell (captain), 4 James McKillop, 3 Andrew Sparrow, 2 Stephen Smyth, 1 Jacob Boyd.
Replacements: 16 Mikey Yarr, 17 Emmet Calvey, 18 Patreece Bell, 19 Alan Spicer, 20 Brian Gleeson, 21 Tadhg Brophy, 22 Jack Murphy, 23 Finn Treacy.

Georgia: 15 Otar Metreveli, 14 Luka Khorbaladze, 13 Luka Kobauri, 12 Giorgi Khaindrava, 11 Luka Keshelava, 10 Luka Tsirekidze, 9 Aleksandre Jigauri, 8 Nika Lomidze, 7 Andro Dvali, 6 Luka Suluashvili, 5 Davit Lagvilava, 4 Temur Tsulukidze, 3 Davit Mchedlidze, 2 Mikheil Khakhubia, 1 Luka Ungiadze.
Replacements: 16 Shota Kheladze, 17 Luka Kotorashvili, 18 Davit Kuntelia, 19 Murtaz Tskhadadze, 20 Tornike Ghaniashvili, 21 Mikheil Kachlavashvili, 22 Luka Takaishvili, 23 Nugzar Kevkhishvili.

Referee: Reuben Keane
Assistant referees: Morne Ferreira, Zoe Naude
TMO: Damon Murphy

Wales v Spain
(Athlone Stadium, Cape Town – Kick-off: 14.00, 13.00 BST; 12.00 GMT)

Prediction

@rugby365com: Wales by 17 points.

Teams:

Wales: 15 Matty Young, 14 Harry Rees-Weldon, 13 Elijah Evans, 12 Steff Emanual, 11 Kodi Stone, 10 Harri Wilde, 9 Rhodri Lewis, 8 Owen Conquer, 7 Morgan Morse, 6 Ryan Woodman (captain), 5 Nick Thomas, 4 Jonny Green, 3 Kian Hire, 2 Harry Thomas, 1 Ioan Emanuel.
Replacement: 16 Isaac Young, 17 Jordan Morris, 18 Sam Scott, 19 Osian Thomas, 20 Will Austin, 21 Ieuan Davies, 22 Harri Wilde, 23 Louie Hennessey.

Spain: 15 Lucien Richardis, 14 Julien Burguillos, 13 Alberto Carmona, 12 Yaco Fernandez, 11 Roberto Ponce, 10 Gonzalo Otamendi, 9 Nicolas Infer, 8 Manex Ariceta (captain), 7 Jokin Zolezzi, 6 Nicolas Moleti, 5 Adam LLinares, 4 Pablo Guirao, 3 Aniol Franch, 2 Diego Gonzalez, 1 Hugo Gonzalez.
Replacements: 16 David Gallego, 17 Alberto Gomez, 18 Guido Reyes, 19 Martin Serrano, 20 Valentino Rizzo, 21 Javi Lopez de Haro, 22 Unax Zuriarrain, 23 Gabriel Rocaries.

Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs, Griffin Colby
TMO: Mike Adamson

France v New Zealand
(Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch – Kick-off: 16.30; 16.30 CEST; 14.30 GMT; 02.30 Friday, June 5 NZST)

Prediction

@rugby365com: France by six points.

Teams:

France: 15 Xan Mousques, 14 Nathan Bollengier, 13 Fabien Brau-Boirie, 12 Mathys Belaubre, 11 Mathis Ferte, 10 Hugo Reaus, 9 Leo Carbonneau, 8 Mathis Castro-Ferreira, 7 Geoffrey Malaterre, 6 Joe Quere Karaba, 5 Charles Kante Samba, 4 Corentin Mezou, 3 Zinedine Aouad, 2 Barnabe Massa, 1 Lino Julien.
Replacements: 16 Thomas Lacombre, 17 Lorencio Boyer Gallardo, 18 Thomas Duchene, 19 Brent Liufau 20 Sialevailea Tolofua, 21 Thomas Souverbie, 22 Maxence Biasotto, 23 Axel Desperes.

New Zealand: 15 Issac Hutchinson, 14 Xavier Tito-Harris, 13 Aki Tuivailala, 12 Xavi Taele, 11 Stanley Solomon, 10 Rico Simpson, 9 Dylan Pledger, 8 Mosese Bason, 7 Johnny Lee, 6 Andrew Smith, 5 Liam Jack, 4 Tom Allen, 3 Logan Wallace, 2 Vernon Bason (captain), 1 Will Martin.
Replacements: 16 Manumaua Letiu, 17 Sika Pole, 18 Josh Smith, 19 Cam Christie, 20 Matt Lowe, 21 Ben O’Donovan, 22 Sam Coles, 23 King Maxwell.

Referee: Adam Jones
Assistant referees: Federico Vedovelli, Morne Ferreira
TMO: Ben Whitehouse

England v Fiji
(Athlone Stadium, Cape Town – Kick-off: 16.30; 15.30 BST; 14.30 GMT; 02.30 Friday, July 5 FJT)

Prediction

@rugby365com: England by 30 points.

Teams:

England: 15 Ioan Jones, 14 Toby Cousins, 13 Ben Waghorn, 12 Oli Spencer, 11 Angus Hall, 10 Benjamin Coen, 9 Ollie Allan, 8 Arthur Green, 7 Kane James, 6 Finn Carnduff (captain), 5 Olamide Sodeke, 4 Harvey Cuckson, 3 James Halliwell, 2 James Isaacs, 1 Cameron Miell.
Replacements: 16 Craig Wright, 17 Asher Opoku-Fordjour, 18 Afolabi Fasogbon, 19 Junior Kpoku, 20 Henry Pollock, 21 Lucas Friday, 22 Josh Bellamy, 23 Alex Wills.

Fiji: 15 Isikeli Basiyalo, 14 Avakuki Niusalelekitoga, 13 Harrison Valevatu, 12 Joseva Ubitau, 11 Sivaniolo Kalaveti, 10 Bogidrau Kikau, 9 Aisea Nawai, 8 Simon Koroiyadi, 7 Ronald Sharma, 6 Ebernezer Tuidraki, 5 Iliesa Erenavula, 4 Nalani May (captain), 3 Elroy Macomber, 2 Moses Armstrong-Ravula, 1 Mataiasi Tuisireli.
Replacements: 16 Iowane Vakadrigi, 17 Breyton Legge, 18 Luke Nasau, 19 Malakai Masi, 20 Ratu Nemani Kurucake, 21 Samuela Ledua, 22 Ponipate Tuberi, 23 Benjamin Naivalu.

Referee: Saba Abulashvili
Assistant referees: Neheun Jauri Rivero, AJ Jacobs
TMO: Matteo Liperini

South Africa v Argentina
(Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch – Kick-off: 19.00; 17.00 GMT; 14.00 ART)

Prediction

@rugby365com: South Africa by 10 points.

Teams:

South Africa: 15 Bruce Sherwood, 14 Joel Leotlela, 13 Jurenzo Julius, 12 Phillip-Albert van Niekerk, 11 Litelihle Bester, 10 Liam Koen, 9 Asad Moos, 8 Tiaan Jacobs, 7 Bathobele Hlekani, 6 Thabang Mphafi, 5 JF van Heerden, 4 Jaco Grobbelaar, 3 Zachary Porthen (captain), 2 Luca Bakkes, 1 Ruan Swart.
Replacements: 16 Ethan Bester, 17 Liyema Ntshanga, 18 Casper Badenhorst, 19 Thomas Dyer, 20 Keanu Coetsee, 21 Sibabalwe Mahashe, 22 Tylor Sefoor, 23 Joshua Boulle.

Argentina: 15 Benjamin Elizalde, 14 Timotea Silva, 13 Faustino Sanchez Valarolo, 12 Tomas Medina, 11 Franco Rossetto, 10 Santino Di Lucca, 9 Tomas Di Biase, 8 Juan Pedro Bernasconi, 7 Santos Fernansez de Oliveira, 6 Juan Penoucos, 5 Felipe Bruno, 4 Efrain Elias (captain), 3 Tomas Rapetti, 2 Juan Greising Revol, 1 Diego Correa.
Replacements: 16 Juan Manuel Vivas, 17 Joaquin Yakiche, 18 Gael Galvan, 19 Alvaro Garcia Iandolino, 20 Agustin Sareelli, 21 Jeronimo LLorens, 22 Facundo Rodriguez, 23 Felipe Ledesma.

Referee: Takehito Namekwa
Assistant referees: Federico Vedovelli, Zoe Naude
TMO: Damon Murphy

Australia v Italy
(Athlone Stadium, Cape Town – Kick-off: 19.00, 19.00 CEST; 17.00 GMT; 03.00 Friday, July 5 AEST)

Prediction

@rugby365com: Australia by four points.

Teams:

Australia: 15 Shane Wilcox, 14 Ronan Leahy, 13 Kadin Pritchard, 12 Jarrah McLeod, 11 Angus Staniforth, 10 Harry McLaughlin-Phillips, 9 Dan Nelson, 8 Jack Harley, 7 Dane Sawers, 6 Aden Ekanayake, 5 Ollie McCrea, 4 Toby Macpherson (captain), 3 Trevor King, 2 Ottavio Tuipulotu, 1 Lington Ieli.
Replacements: 16 Bryn Edwards, 17 Nathaniel Tiitii, 18 Nick Bloomfield, 19 Eamon Doyle, 20 Dominic Thygesen, 21 Billy Dickens, 22 Joe Dillon, 23 Frankie Goldsbrough.

Italy: 15 Mirko Belloni, 14 Francesco Imberti, 13 Nicola Bozzo (captain), 12 Patrick de Villiers 11 Lorenzo Elettri, 10 Simone Brisighella, 9 Lorenzo Casilio, 8 Giacomo Milano, 7 Luca Bellucci, 6 Nelson Casartelli, 5 Piero Gritti, 4 Samuele Mirenzi, 3 Federico Pisani, 2 Valerio Siciliano, 1 Sergio Pelliccioli.
Replacements: 16 Nicholas Gasperini, 17 Francesco Gentile, 18 Davide Ascari, 19 Tommaso Redondi, 20 Mattia Midena, 21 Jacopo Botturi, 22 Mattia Jimenez, 23 Marco Scalabrini.

Referee: Sam Grove-White
Assistant referees: Neheun Jauri Rivero, Griffin Colby
TMO: Mark Patton

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