Three players from the 2012 Junior World Championship-winning SA U20 team will start against the University of the Western Cape in Stellenbosch.
They are centre Jan Serfontein, flyhalf and vice-captain Handré Pollard, and lock and captain Marvin Orie.
Friday’s encounter, which kicks off at 4pm at the Paul Roos Gymnasium sports fields, is the first of three training matches lined-up over the coming week for the SA U20 hopefuls. The players have been in camp since last Sunday and will end their training camp with a final match against UCT next Saturday. In between they will also be in action against Maties in Stellenbosch on Wednesday.
According to coach Dawie Theron, the three-match training exercise is something they have planned with the 2013 Junior World Championship schedule firmly in mind.
‘During the tournament the turn-around times are tight as well and in France we will have three days to prepare before playing our next match so we wanted to simulate that,’ explained Theron. ‘The heat wave here in the Western Cape is actually a good thing for us because I believe it will also be quite hot in France during June.’
Regarding team selection, Theron said that everyone in the 34-man training group will get a chance to play.
‘We will lose five, six of our guys after our second match as they are needed elsewhere, but that is not a problem as it creates the opportunity for everyone to play and after the UCT match all would have had a chance.’
Theron added that players outside the current squad can still make it to France.
‘We will be looking at the performances of players during the Vodacom Cup and Varsity Cup competitions and if someone performs impressively, then he will come into consideration. Raymond Rhule, for instance, forced his way into last year’s squad at a very late stage.’
Baby Boks – 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Luther Obi, 13 Justin Gedult, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Hanco Venter, 8 Ruan Steenkamp, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Albertus Smit, 5 Marvin Orie (c), 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1. Sti Sithole
Subs: All remaining squad players to be used as replacements