SA Under-20 coach Dawie Theron on Thursday insisted that he was satisfied with the steady progress of his Baby Boks following their three-match tour of Argentina.
The South African national junior team secured two victories against the Argentinean U20s which included a 22-13 victory at the Lions Rugby Club and a 46-29 win at the Lawn Tennis Club. Both matches were played in the northern city of Santiago del Estero. The tourists though conceded an 8-7 defeat against an Argentinean XV team in their tour warm up game.
“We achieved one of our objectives of the season which were to win both internationals in Argentina, so I am confident on that front that we are moving in the right direction in terms of creating a culture which will hopefully be a contributing factor in yielding success for us during the next few months,” said Theron.
“However we are not fooled with what is expected from us in terms of achieving our ultimate goal which is to excel at the IRB Junior World Championship later this year. There’s plenty of hard work ahead for us as a team.
“We’ve had a decent look at the 30 players on tour, and let us not forget that we do have more players than before competing in the Vodacom Super Rugby and Vodacom Cup competitions that I am also monitoring. Then we also have age group players that are currently involved in the Springbok Sevens and their training squads, they will also be looked at.”
Sevens Springbok Paul Jordaan may still turn out for the Baby Boks in Italy
Theron is hopeful that many of the Baby Boks who competed in the three-match Argentinean tour will settle straight back into their provincial unions’ structures and achieve valuable game time before the next age group training camp.
The Baby Boks coach has the luxury of monitoring the likes of Tuks and SA Under-20 tour captain Arno Botha, lock Eben Etzebeth, scrumhalf Ricky Schroeder and flanker Nizaam Carr who are likely to feature for the UCT Ikeys and during the forthcoming FNB Varsity Cup final against Tuks.
Theron and the national selectors will also be tracking the performances of the likes of hooker Micheal van Vuuren, flyhalf Johan Goosen, scrumhalf Pieter Rademan, centre Francois Venter, winger Courtnall Skosan, fullbacks Ulrich Beyers and Riaan Britz who are all likely to participate in the current Vodacom Cup competition.
The Lions fullback Jaco Taute, DHL Stormers prop Frans Malherbe and hooker Siyabonga Ntubeni who have all earned valuable Vodacom Super Rugby this season, are all eligible to represent the Baby Boks at the IRB Junior World Championships in Italy as is Springbok Sevens talent Paul Jordaan.