The process to select the South Africa Under 20 squad for the IRB Junior World Championship 2014 in New Zealand will begin on Sunday when the expanded training group gathers in Stellenbosch for an intensive two-month training camp.
The group, consisting of almost 70 of the country’s most promising Under 20 players, will play trial matches on Monday and Wednesday, after which the squad will be reduced to approximately 40 players to continue with preparations for JWC 2014.
South Africa coach Dawie Theron and members of the SARU Mobi-Unit will guide the players through a series of daily training, conditioning and strategic planning sessions at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport before a short break for the Easter holidays.
The Junior Springboks will also play a much-anticipated three-match series with Argentina Under 20s on 2, 6 and 10 May, something that has become a traditional part of their build up to the Junior World Championship.
“The gathering of the large group of players will be the culmination of an extensive period of work behind the scenes where we meticulously planned the two-month training camp and identified the large pool of players,” explained Theron.
“Thanks to the excellent relationship and constant communication between SARU and the various provincial coaches, I am pleased with the amount of game time these players have had this season. It is a huge improvement from previous years, and hopefully it will count in our favour as we go in search of the title.”
Three players not considered for the camp due to Super Rugby commitments are André Esterhuizen (Sharks), Handré Pollard – a member of South Africa’s JWC 2012 winning team – and Jessie Kriel (Bulls). A number of players will also be monitored as they go through rehabilitation programmes.
South Africa squad to assemble in Stellenbosch
Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Dan Kriel, Pierre Schoeman, Duncan Mathews, JP Smith, Corniel Els, Wilco Louw, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Abongile Nonkontwana, Arno van Wyk, Leighton van Wyk, Janse van Rensburg, RG Snyman, Heinrich Viljoen, Kobus Marais, Warrick Gelant, Ganfried May, Marcus Kleinbooi, Chris Massyn, Nqoba Mxoli (all Blue Bulls), Malcom Marx, Michael Hazner, Ramone Samuels, Jaco Van der Walt, Jano Venter, Thabo Mabuza, Victor Sisekete, Christiaan Meyer, Pieter Scholtz, Stephan Vermeulen, Cyle Brink, Dylan Smith, Kock Marx (all Golden Lions), Hillford Clarke (Griquas), Dean Stokes, Lloyd Greef (Leopards), Ox Nche, Joseph Dweba, Mthokozisi Mkhabela, Nicolaas Lee (all Free State), Aidon Davis, Sergeal Petersen (all Kings), Thomas du Toit, Gideon Koegelenberg, Chris de Beer, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Dan du Preez, Jean-Luc du Preez, Neil Maritz, Sandile Khubeka, Cameron Wright, Ayron Schramm, Ray Williams, Sias Koen, Alrin Eksteen (all Sharks), JD Schickerling, Jacques Vermeulen, Ernst Stapelberg, Daniel du Plessis, Jarryd Sage, SP Ferreira, Justin Phillips, Dewald Naude, Chad Solomon, Frans van Wyk, Jan Uys, EW Viljoen, Rikus Bothma (all Western Province).