Chiliboy Ralepelle will captain the South African U21 team to the Rugby World Cup in France next month.
At just 19-years-old, Ralepelle, is one of the youngest members of the squad, but coach Pieter De Villiers sees huge potential in the young man and he was a member of the teams that won the U19 and the U21 world titles last year.
Ralepelle – along with fellow U21s Meyer Bosman and Pierre Spies – was invited to the Springbok camp in Bloemfontein by coach Jake White for testing.
Following a number of injuries to his flyhalves, White has kept Bosman with the Boks, but if the injury crisis clears, Bosman may yet still be on a plane to France.
Ralepelle and Spies will both add something special to the Boks cause as they aim to win the trophy for the fourth time. The Baby Boks have won the title in 1999, 2002 and 2005.
“I’m very satisfied with our preparations and we’re most pleased because there are no injuries,” de Villiers said. “We’re not experiencing pressure from outside to excel. We’re obviously putting pressure on ourselves to do well, because we’re all proud. No one will be satisfied with a second or third place. The guys are playing for their country and they want to do well.”
The Boks take on Argentina, Georgia and France in pool play, before hopefully advancing to the play-offs. The first match will be played on June 9 and the final on June 25.