Three local members of the wider South African Under-20 squad were called up to the Springbok Planning Camp that started in Cape Town earlier today (Wednesday).
Centres Pat Howard and Kobus van Wyk, as well as prop Oliver Kebble have been drafted into the Planning Camp after Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer consulted with the national selectors, Peter Jooste and Ian McIntosh, as well as SA Under-20 coach Dawie Theron.
Two Baby Boks
Howard and Kebble (pictured below) made the final squad of 28 for the International Rugby Board’s Junior World Championship, which will be hosted in Cape Town and Stellenbosch in June. Van Wyk was part of the wider training group and is on standby should he be needed as injury cover. All three are based in Cape Town.
“It’s always been part of our planning to work with the SA Under-20s when possible and this is the ideal opportunity to work with Oliver, Pat and Kobus, like we’ve done last week with Pieter Steph du Toit. I’m excited to work with these youngsters, because they are the future of rugby in our country,” said Meyer.
Vodacom Cup commitments
Meanwhile, five players that were part of the initial group invited to the camp had been withdrawn on request of their union, DHL Western Province, that are hosting one of the four Vodacom Cup quarter-finals this weekend.
They are Deon Carstens (prop), Quinn Roux (lock), Nic Groom (scrumhalf), Marcel Brache (centre) and Danie Poolman (wing).
“We always said we would not stand in the way of teams preparing for the Vodacom Cup, which is why we also released a number of the Sharks XV players earlier from our camp last week,” said Meyer.
“The provinces have been superb in assisting us with these planning camps and the work we’ve been able to do, have been great.”