Baby Boks change five for semi-finals
There are five changes in the starting line-up of the Junior Springboks to play against Wales in the IRB Junior World Championship rugby semi-final in Vannes, France, on Tuesday.
Amongst the backs, fly-half Robert du Preez returns to play in the No 10 jersey while Handré Pollard moves to inside centre in place of Rohan Janse van Rensburg. Stefan Ungerer reclaims the No 9 jersey from his Sharks provincial team mate Hanco Venter.
Andrew Beerwinkel will start at loose head prop in place of Sti Sithole while Luan de Bruin is restored to the side after missing the match against France because of suspension. De Bruin’s suspension of four weeks was set aside following a successful appeal. Marné Coetzee therefore moves to the bench to make way for De Bruin.
Amongst the replacements, flanker Kwagga Smith comes in for the injured Jannes Kirsten while Justin Geduld, who missed the French match because of a slight knee injury, was included amongst the backs after passing a fitness test on Monday.
“This is a very important match for us and we know that Wales is a well-coached side with a good structure and especially a very good kicking game," said Junior Springboks coach, Dawie Theron.
"We have done our homework and believe that we are a well-prepared physical side and we are comfortable with the way we want to play. The team is looking forward to play in this semi-final match.”
SA Under-20 team: 15 Cheslin Kolbe (Western Province), 14 Luther Obi (Leopard), 13 Dries Swanepoel (Blue Bulls), 12 Handré Pollard (Blue Bulls), 11 Seabelo Senatla (SARU contracted), 10 Robert du Preez (Sharks), 9 Stefan Ungerer (Sharks), 8 Ruan Steenkamp (captain, Blue Bulls), 7 Jacques du Plessis (Blue Bulls), 6 Roelof Smit (Blue Bulls), 5 Dennis Visser (Blue Bulls), 4 Irné Herbst (Blue Bulls), 3 Luan de Bruin ( Free State Cheetahs), 2 Jacques du Toit (Free State Cheetahs), 1 Andrew Beerwinkel (Blue Bulls)
Replacements: 16 Michael Willemse (Western Province), 17 St Sithole (Western Province), 18 Aidon Davis (EPKings), 19 Kwagga Smith (Golden Lions), 20 Percy Williams (Golden Lions), 21 Justin Geduld (SARU contracted), 22 Jesse Kriel (Blue Bulls), 23 Marné Coetzee (Sharks)
Date: Tuesday, June 18
Venue: Vannes, France
Some interesting JWC facts:
Seven teams have contested an IRB Junior World Championship semi-final in New Zealand, England, South Africa, France, Australia, Wales and Argentina.
Stade de la Rabine in Vannes will become the seventh venue to host a JWC semi-final after Rodney Parade (2008), Cardiff Arms Park (2008), Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium (2009), Estadio El Coloso del Parque (2010), Stadio Comunale di Monigo (2011) and Newlands (2012).
A total of 50 tries have been scored across the 10 JWC semi-finals to date. Thirty-two of these have been turned into seven pointers.
The most tries scored in a semi-final is six, which has happened three times – New Zealand v Australia (2009), England v South Africa (2009) and England v France (2011).
The most penalties kicked in a semi-final is seven in England’s victory over South Africa in 2009, the fewest is two in that year’s other encounter between New Zealand and Australia.
No drop goals have been slotted between the posts in a semi-final to date.