The SA Schools team’s preparations for the U19 International Series is set to get underway on Sunday with the 28-member squad assembling at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport where they will be put through their paces before the opening game on 11 August.
A change in the venue for the opening match will see the SA Schools team face Wales at the Markötter fields at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch on Friday 11 August, which will be followed by clashes against France at Paarl Gymnasium on Tuesday, 15 August, and England at City Park in Cape Town on Saturday, 19 August.
The team, which will again be guided by head coach Lance Sendin, features two players who were members of the SA Schools team that registered a whitewash in the series last season, centre Rikus Pretorius and winger Muller du Plessis.
Scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba, flankers Dylan Richardson and Mark Snyman, lock Juan van der Mescht and prop Keagan Glade, meanwhile, all represented the SA Schools A team in 2016.
The players will begin their preparations on Sunday with medicals and a light training session in the afternoon, followed by a team meeting, while they will begin working on their structures on Monday.
“We have four days to prepare the team for our opening game against Wales, so the quality of what we do in the next few days is going to very important,” said Sendin.
“It is also vital that we create a positive team culture and get the players to gel as a unit as quickly as possible. For most of the players this series will mark the first time they represent their country, so this is a massive occasion for the players and the management team, and we are excited about the challenge.
“That said we are expecting a tough test both mentally and physically in every match, so we need to prepare the players as well as possible, but simultaneously ensure that they enjoy the experience in the next two weeks.”
All the matches will be broadcast live on SuperSport 1 (Channel 201).
U19 International Series fixtures:
Friday 11 August – Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch
14h15 – France v England
16h00 – SA Schools v Wales
Tuesday 15 August – Paarl Gymnasium
14h15 – England v Wales
16h00 – SA Schools v France
Saturday 19 August – City Park, Cape Town
12h15 – France v Wales
14h00 – SA Schools v England