Junior Boks shuffle pack for Ireland clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Junior Springbok coach Bafana Nhleko has shuffled his forward pack and his replacements bench for Wednesday’s second pool match of the Six Nations U20 Summer Series against Ireland in Verona, Italy.
Nhleko has kept the starting backline who did duty in the win over England intact, but he has freshened up the pack for the expected fiery battle against Ireland, who won the U20 Six Nations competition earlier this year.
Reinhardt Ludwig (lock) and Cameron Hanekom (lock) are the only two players set to get a second start amongst the forwards, with Nhleko making six changes to the forwards combination who will run out against Ireland.
Corne Lavanga and Sivu Mabece (props) and Tiaan Lange (hooker) will pack down in the front row. Ludwig’s new lock partner is Corne Rahl while Hanekom, who a had a strong outing against the English, will be flanked by Paul de Villiers and Louw Nel in the back row.
The new-look replacements bench have only utility backs Compion von Ludwig and Imad Khan from the 11 substitutes used in the opening fixture.
Junior Bok assistant coach Chean Roux has called on the team to raise their intensity if they want to topple a very good Irish side, adding that squad rotation is necessary because of the short turnaround time between games.
“The Irish will be hurting after that loss to France and we have to make sure we are physically and mentally prepared and up for the challenge,” said Roux.
“They are a proud team who showed what they’re capable of during their recent successful U20 Six Nations campaign, so we have no doubt what they will bring against us.”
Junior Springboks: 15 Duran Koevort, 14 Donovan Don, 13 Ethan James, 12 Carlton Banies, 11 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 10 Sacha Mngomezulu (captain), 9 Nico Steyn, 8 Cameron Hanekom, 7 Louw Nel, 6 Paul de Villiers, 5 Reinhardt Ludwig, 4 Corne Rahl, 3 Sivuyise Mabece, 2 Tiaan Lange, 1 Corne Lavagna.
Replacements: 16 Lukhanyo Vokozela, 17 Lamla Nunu, 18 Friedrich Weilbach, 19 Connor Evans, 20 Siya Ningiza, 21 Niel le Roux, 22 Compion von Ludwig, 23 Katlego Letebele, 24 Ruan Venter, 25 Gcino Mdletshe, 26 Imad Khan.
Date: Wednesday, June 29
Venue: Payanini Centre, Verona
Kick-off: 20.00 (19.00 UK & Ireland time; 18.00 GMT)