South Africa’s chances of defending their U21 World Championship title improved substantially after three key players were passed fit for the final.
The Baby Boks play hosts France in the decider on Sunday, the team they beat 14-10 in their final group match. Chiliboy Ralepelle’s side then smashed the Kiwis 40-23 in the semi-finals, while France beat Australia.
South Africa have lost just one U21 match in the last three years, and their chances of protecting that record were improved when three key players, who left the field injured against New Zealand, were passed fit for the final.
Ralepelle, centre Brad Barritt and flyhalf Isma-eel Dollie will all play against France. It was Dollie who sparked the Baby Boks’ two tries midway through the second half of the semi-final, when he put Keegan Daniel and then Wilhelm Steenkamp away for five-pointers.
The only injury concern to the Baby Boks is flanker Hilton Lobberts, who took a couple big knocks against the Kiwis. Expect him to play a role off the bench on Sunday.
Possible Baby Boks side:
15 Marius Delport, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Bradley Barritt, 11 Cedric Mkhize, 10 Isma-eel Dollie, 9 Warren Malgas, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Pierre Spies, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Nikolai Blignaut, 3 Sangoni Mxoli, 2 Chiliboy Ralapelle (c), 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Subs: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Alistair Hargreaves, 19 Hilton Lobberts, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Scott Spedding, 22 Frank Wagenstroom.