Despite some withdrawals from their wider training squad, Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux is hoping his teams’ preparations for the World Rugby U20 Championship in France from 30 May to 17 June will gain momentum when they get together for a second training camp in Stellenbosch on Tuesday.
The camp, which will conclude on Friday, is the second of three four-day training camps. This will be followed by a two-week camp, a UK Tour and a World Championship holding camp before they depart for their tournament base in Narbonne in the south of France in May.
Two new loose forwards, Dian Schoonees (Xerox Golden Lions) and Heinrich Brendel (Cell C Sharks), have been invited to the camp, while flyhalf Lubabalo Dobela (Toyota Free State) will join the squad after missing the first camp due to injury.
Salmaan Moerat (lock) will miss the second camp as he was called up to the DHL Stormers’ tour squad in New Zealand, where he will join Damian Willemse (flyhalf). Both these players were members of the Junior Bok squad that finished third in the tournament in Georgia last year.
Sango Xamlashe (centre, Toyota Free State) and Tyrone Green (utility back, Xerox Golden Lions) have also been forced to withdraw due to ankle and knee ligament injuries respectively.
“The main objectives of the first camp were to get to know the players and to expose them to the way we want to play, and we are looking to build on that this week,” said Roux.“We would like to take a step up in terms of the intensity of our training sessions, and since most of the players are familiar with our structures and what we expect, our target this week is to build momentum.
“Our opening match against Georgia in the World Rugby U20 Championship is in 12 weeks’ time, and we have a limited number of training days during that time, so it is vital that we do as much as possible at our training camps.”
The SA U20’s have been drawn in Pool C at the World Rugby U20 Championship with Georgia, Ireland and France.