Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron on Friday was satisfied with the progress made by his provisional Junior Springbok training squad since they assembled in camp two weeks ago and feels there are several positives to build on as they prepare for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester from 7 to 25 June.
The training squad has been hard at work at training to familiarise themselves with the structures and systems put in place by Theron and his coaching team for the international showpiece, and they capped this off with a contact session against the Western Province Rugby Institute in Stellenboschon Friday morning.
The innovation showed on attack combined with their solid defensive effort by the players impressed Theron, who said: “It was pleasing to see the players’ skill levels on attack and the way they put their bodies on the line on defence, so there are several positives we can build on as our preparation intensifies for the World Championship. The handling skills, in particular, were really impressive, and it was pleasing to see how the players mixed things up on attack.“It was also encouraging to see how several players shone out with their impressive performances under pressure and against a quality Western Province Rugby Institute outfit.”
All the players, barring centre JT Jackson, flyhalf Manie Libbok (Vodacom Blue Bulls) and No8 Junior Pokomela (EP Kings), who were released for provincial duty, and those nursing injuries, participated in the contact session.
The training squad will have further contact sessions against the Western Province Academy on 26 April and the Western Province Rugby Institute on 6 May.
The side will face the Xerox Golden Lions Under-19 and Under-21 teams in Johannesburg on 13 Mayin their first warm-up match, which will be followed by clashes against Steinhoff Maties in Stellenbosch on 17 May and the SWD Eagles in Oudtshoorn on 21 May.