Steenkamp leads Baby Boks
Blue Bulls flanker Ruan Steenkamp will captain South Africa's U20 squad at the IRB Junior World Championship, which takes place in France during June.
Steenkamp leads a powerful squad of 28 players which include the 2012 IRB Junior Player of the Year, Jan Serfontein, 2012 JWC winning fly-half Handrè Pollard and Sergeal Petersen, who has starred for the Southern Kings in the Super Rugby competition.
As part of their final preparations, the SA U20 JWC squad will play the senior Namibian team on 11 May in Cape Town. The 15 forwards will get together from 1-3 May in Stellenbosch while the full squad will be in camp from 5-12 May to fine tune their tournament preparations.
Coach Dawie Theron, who last year led the Baby Boks to their first JWC title, said the national selectors have picked the strongest available squad.
“The identification, monitoring and selection process of this squad started last November, when we staged the first set of trial matches,” said Theron.
“An extended training group was then identified. These players participated in various training camps, training matches and also the most recent tour to Argentina.
“I am therefore very satisfied and pleased with the final squad and we now need to fine tune our preparations before we travel to France.
There are some exciting young talent, some players with previous JWC experience while others have played Super Rugby and on the HSBC Sevens World Series circuit.
“I am looking forward to working with this squad in the forthcoming month and to see them in action in what promised to be a very tough and demanding tournament in France.” added Theron.
Cheslin Kolbe, Seabelo Senatla and Justin Geduld are full Springbok Sevens internationals while Serfontein and Pollard were both part of the successful 2012 JWC squad.
Aidon Davis, Sergeal Petersen and Pollard are all members of the successful 2012 SA Schools team, while a further six players – Dries Swanepoel, Jacques du Plessis, Steenkamp, Percy Williams, Marne Coetzee and Serfontein - were members of the 2011 SA Schools team.
Steenkamp led the SA Schools in 2011 against France while he was also skipper of Monument Hoërskool in Krugersdorp during his schoolboy rugby days.
South Africa U20: Andrew Beerwinkel, Marné Coetzee, Aidon Davis, Luan de Bruin, Jacques du Plessis, Robert du Preez, Ockert du Toit, Justin Geduld, Irne Herbst, Jannes Kirsten, Cheslin Kolbe, Sylvian Mahuza, Devon Martinus, Luther Obi, Sergeal Petersen, Handré Pollard, Seabelo Senatla, Jan Serfontein, Sithembiso Sithole, Albertus Smith, Roelof Smit, Ruan Steenkamp, Dries Swanepoel, Stefan Ungerer, Hanco Venter, Dennis Visser, Michael Willemse, Percy Williams.
Team management: Dawie Theron (Coach), Jonathan Mokuena (Manager), Phatho Cele (Doctor), Brendan Venter (Assistant coach), Nazeem Adams (Assistant coach), Norman Laker (Video Analyst), Anuerin Robyn (Physio), Warren Adams (Fitness coach), Rayaan Adriaanse (Media Manager), Yusuf Jackson (SARU Rep).