Keagan Glade (prop) has been included in the Junior Springbok World Rugby U20 Championship squad as an injury replacement for Hanro Jacobs, whose tournament dreams were shattered due to a foot injury.
Jacobs suffered the injury at training late last week and subsequent scans confirmed that he will not recover in time for the international extravaganza in Argentina, which prompted Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux to call up Glade.
The powerful Xerox Golden Lions prop is no stranger to the Junior Springbok set-up as he trained with the squad last year, but missed out on selection for the World Rugby U20 Championship in the south of France. He was also a member of the SA Rugby Academy squad which trained with the Junior Springbok coaches in Stellenbosch since February.
The Junior Springboks will depart for the World Rugby U20 Championship on Wednesday, where they will face Scotland, Georgia and New Zealand in the pool stages on 4, 8 and 12 June respectively.
“I feel for Hanro, especially after all the hard work he has put in during the last few months,” said Roux.
“We will miss his presence on and off the field. But it is fantastic to be able to call on Keagan, who has been part of the wider training squad for the last two seasons, and who is familiar with our structures and systems.
“He was a member of the SA Rugby Academy squad, so he knows the coaching staff and his team-mates well, and he has slotted in with ease since being called up to train with us. It is fantastic to see how he is embracing this opportunity.”
With a little over a week before the team’s opening match against Scotland, Roux was pleased with the work the players had put in since arriving back from their warm-up tour to the UK, and he said they were looking forward to the tournament.
“We worked hard on fine-tuning our game and on our conditioning in the last few weeks, and are looking forward to challenge in Argentina,” said Roux.
“We know what is expected of us over there and it is vital that we get off to a strong start and build on our performances as the competition progresses.
“We have been preparing for the Scotland game, in particular, since we arrived back from the UK, and we will continue to put the finishing touches in place when we touch down in Argentina.”
Commenting on the mood in the camp, Roux said: “The players are in good spirits and the energy in camp is high, so everyone is excited and looking forward to the competition.”