Winger Wandile Mjekevu, centre Francois Venter and flanker Siya Kolisi (pictured below) who represented the Baby Boks during last year’s IRB Junior World Championship were on Friday selected in the SA U20 team that will take on Argentina U20 in an international friendly match played in Santiago del Estero on Saturday.
Head coach Dawie Theron made 15 changes to his starting line up from the team that conceded an 8-7 defeat against the Argentinean XV on Wednesday evening.
Vodacom Blue Bulls U19 loose forward Arno Botha will captain the team which include SA Schools representatives – flyhalf Johan Goosen and scrumhalf Kevin Luiters. The halfback duo represented the Free State Cheetahs at last year’s Coca-Cola U18 Craven Week in Welkom. They replace pivot Tony Jantjies and scrumhalf Pieter Rademan who competed in Wednesday’s tour opener.
Toyota Free State Cheetahs fullback Riaan Britz will wear the No.15 jersey in place of Ulrich Beyers who is relegated to the bench. Venter who has four SA U20 caps to his name, and fellow Vodacom Blue Bulls centre Bradley Moolman, are the new midfield combination for Saturday’s match.
Eben Etzebeth (lock), Nizaam Carr (flanker) and Kolisi, who starred for DHL Western Province during last season’s Absa Under-19 Championship, will get their first starts on tour. Etzebeth, Carr (both UCT Ikeys), prop John Roy Jenkinson and substitutes – loose forward Cornell du Preez and pivot John Welthagen (both Pukke) – have consistently been performing well in this season’s FNB Varsity Cup.
The South Africa U20 team will compete in a second international friendly against the Argentina U20 on Thursday 24 March 2011.
With the IRB Junior World Championship taking place in Italy later this year, the main reason for this tour is to expose the Baby Boks to as many international opposition as possible prior to the tournament which kicks off on June 10.
SA U20 Team – 15. Riaan Britz, 14. Wandile Mjekevu, 13. Bradley Moolman, 12. Francois Venter, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Johan Goosen, 9. Kevin Luiters, 8. Arno Botha (c), 7. Siya Kolisi, 6. Nizaam Carr, 5. Carl Wegner, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. John Roy Jenkinson, 2. Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1. Stephan Kotze. Substitutes: 16. Michael van Vuuren, 17. Juan Schoeman, 18. Ruan Venter, 19. Cornell du Preez, 20. Pieter Rademan, 21. John Welthagen, 22. Ulrich Beyers.
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