South Africa Under 20 coach Dawie Theron welcomes 38 players to the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport on Sunday for a 10-day camp to continue preparations for their title defence at the IRB Junior World Championship 2013 in France.
The Baby Boks, who denied New Zealand a fifth successive title with a 22-16 win before a record 35,000 crowd at Newlands in June, will face a tricky pool with hosts France, three-time runners up England and Junior World Rugby Trophy 2012 winners USA in Pool A in the 5-23 June tournament.
The number of players attending the camp has been reduced from the first get together earlier this month and this latest training squad includes players who missed out last time due to exams, including Handrè Polland, one of the standout Baby Boks at JWC 2012.
“This camp is important because it will be the last time we see the boys before the end of the year,” admitted Theron. “There will be a huge focus on our game planning, team structure, defensive systems and lineouts.”
South Africa will come together again in January for another camp and three matches against the University teams of Maties, Ikeys and University of Western Cape. The Baby Boks also plan to tour Argentina and face Los Pumitas in March as part of their traditional JWC warm-up preparations.
“It is still very early days, but I am happy with the overall planning at this stage and the management team is looking forward to working with the players again,” added Theron.
South Africa U20 training squad: Andrew Beerwinkel; Clyde Davids, Dennis Visser, Handrè Pollard, Irnè Herbst, Jacques du Plessis, Jacques Rossouw, Jan Serfontein, Justin Forwood, Leneve Damens, Marvin Orie, Neethling Fouchè, Roelof Smit, Ruan Steenkamp (all Blue Bulls), Luan de Bruin, Jacques du Toit, Seabelo Senatla (all Free State Cheetahs), Harold Vorster, Albertus Smit, Kershwin Williams, Louwrens Erasmus (all Golden Lions), Hanco Venter , Marnè Coetzee, Morne du Plessis, Robert du Preez, Stefan Ungerer, Tyler Fisher (all Sharks), Sylvian Mahuza, Luther Obi, Marnus Tack (Leopards), Cheslin Kolbe, Freddie Kirsten, Justin Benn, JP Lewis, Tim Swiel, Jurie van Vuuren, Sti Sithole, Justin Gedult (Western Province).