South Africa Under 20 coach Dawie Theron has made his first move in his bid to defend the IRB Junior World Championship title his side won in June by naming an extended training squad for the 2013 tournament in France.
Players from the Blue Bulls and Western Province provide the bulk of the squad, having dominated the domestic Under 19 Provincial Championship this year, which also included Jan Serfontein, the IRB Junior Player of the Year 2012 who was last week named South Africa Under 20 Player of the Year.
Theron has not called up any players who are currently writing their matric exams, thus ruling out a number of outstanding players from the SA Under 18 team, including Handrè Pollard who was one of the standout Baby Boks at JWC 2012.
Marvin Orie was also part of the JWC winning squad, without taking to the field, and is included for the 9-12 November camp in Stellenbosch, along with two Springbok Sevens players Ruwellyn Isbell and Cheslin Kolbe.
“It is still early days, but I am very excited about this squad,” admitted Theron. “This will be a first step towards France in June and a lot can happen before then, but it will be good to get the squad together and start moulding them.
“We will no doubt look at those things that worked for us this year and look at how that compliments the strengths of this new group. The camp will be exciting as we’ll get new energy and ideas as well as lot of new faces.
“A lot of these players played to a particular structure in the last couple of months and it will be interesting to see how they react to new structures and playing partners.”
South Africa Under 20 training squad for Stellenbosch camp:
Forwards: Andrew Beerwinkel (Blue Bulls), Jan Enslin (Blue Bulls), Justin Forwood (Blue Bulls), Neethling Fouchè (Blue Bulls), Luan de Bruin (Toyota Free State), Marne Coetzee (KZN), Sti Sithole (WP), Jacques du Toit (Toyota Free State), Mornè du Plessis (KZN), Freddie Kirsten (WP), Dennis Visser (Blue Bulls), Irnè Herbst (Blue Bulls), Marvin Orie (Blue Bulls), Myles Tucker (KZN), Andrew Bekker (WP), Clyde Davids (Blue Bulls), Jacques du Plessis (Blue Bulls), Leneve Damens (Blue Bulls), Roelof Smit (Blue Bulls), Ruan Steenkamp (Blue Bulls), Tienie Burger (Toyota Free State), Kwagga Smit (Golden Lions), Andrew van Tonder (KZN), Justin Benn (WP), Jurie van Vuuren (WP).
Backs: Carlo Engelbrecht (Blue Bulls), Kefentse Mahlo (Blue Bulls), KK Hlungwane (Toyota Free State), Percy Williams (Golden Lions), Hanco Venter (KZN), Stefan Ongerer, Jean Nel (WP), Francois Tredoux (Blue Bulls), Robert du Preez (KZN), Tim Swiel (WP), Jan Serfontein (Blue Bulls), Jade Stighling (Blue Bulls), Burger Odendaal (Blue Bulls), Harold Verster (Golden Lions), Tyler Fisher (KZN), Henko Marais (Leopards), Justin Geduldt (WP), Ruwellyn Isbell (Blue Bulls), Seabelo Sanata (Toyota Free State), Kotaro Matsushima (KZN), Sylvian Mahuza (Leopards), JP Lewis (WP), Jacques Rossouw (Blue Bulls), Sean Robinson (KZN), Cheslin Kolbe (WP).