Theron Wields Axe
Junior Springboks coach Dawie Theron made eleven changes to his side to play Italy at the UWC Stadium in their second match of the IRB Junior World Championship 2012.
Only Jan Serfontein (centre), Paul Willemse (lock), Steven Kitshoff (prop) and captain and flanker Wiaan Liebenberg remained from the side that lost their opening match against Ireland.
Four players, Marais Schmidt (fullback), Travis Ismaiel (wing), William Small-Smith (centre) and Khaya Majola will make their first appearance at the tournament, while Handrè Pollard (flyhalf) and Braam Steyn (eighthman) was unused substitutes against Ireland.
Theron explained the big turnover of players for this match.
“This was always part of our planning, as we only have a three day turnaround between the two matches. We are keen to redeem ourselves against Italy as we disappointed ourselves and our supporters against the Irish and I am convinced that the new players in the team will provide us with a lot of positive energy.”
Liebenberg said the changes will not affect their play.
“We have been training together as a group for a while now and the new guys slotted in with ease. We are lucky to have such a short turnaround in that we can now rectify the mistakes we made in our opening game. We are still in the hunt to win the tournament.”
South Africa Under-20: 15 Marais Schmidt, 14 Tshotsho Mbovane, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Travis Ismaiel, 10 Handrè Pollard, 9 Vian van der Watt, 8 Braam Steyn, 7 Wiaan Liebenberg (captain), 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Oliver Kebble, 2 Jason Thomas, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Mark Pretorius, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Pieter Steph du Toit, 19 Fabian Booysen, 20 Abrie Griesel, 21 Tony Jantjies, 22 Pat Howard, 23 Maks van Dyk.