Where are they now: 2010 Junior Boks (Backs)

In the seventh part of a series, DYLAN JACK rewinds to the 2010 U20 World Championship and looks at what happened to the Junior Springboks.

In their final year under head coach Eric Sauls, the Junior Springboks were drawn in Pool C along with Scotland, Tonga and Australia in the Argentina-based tournament.

The Junior Springboks started their campaign strongly, with a 40-14 win over Tonga followed by a 73-0 thrashing of Scotland. However, they slipped to a 42-35 loss to Australia in the final pool match. Despite this, they still qualified for the semi-finals by virtue of having the best record of the second-placed teams across the three pools.

In the semi-finals they met a New Zealand side including the likes of Julian Savea and Charlie Ngatai. A brace from Savea helped New Zealand claim a 36-7 win and placed the Junior Boks in the third-place playoff against England. A brace of tries from Sibusiso Sithole aided the Baby Boks to win 27-22 and finish third.

Pat Lambie

Lambie played at fullback throughout the tournament and finished as the second-highest points-scorer (75) and joint-third try-scorer (four).

He made his Super Rugby debut for the Sharks in 2010 and was named SA Rugby Young Player of the Year in 2011.  Lambie made his debut for the Springboks in 2010 and played a total of 56 Tests until 2016.

In 2017, Lambie moved to France with Racing 92 and played there until announcing his retirement from all rugby due to successive concussions in 2019. He currently works with the Sharks as a kicking consultant.

Sampie Mastriet

Mastriet played just twice for the Junior Springboks in 2010. After the tournament, he moved to the Blue Bulls and played for UP-Tuks in the Varsity Cup.

During this time he also played for the Blitzboks and was part of the squad that took part in the World Cup Sevens in Moscow in 2013. After returning to fifteens, Mastriet moved to the Lions in 2015, but struggled for regular game time and joined the Kings in 2016.

He last played club rugby in Spain for El Salvador.

Wandile Mjekevu

Mjekevu made his professional debut for the Lions and then joined the Sharks for his first stint in Durban in 2012. After struggling for game time, he moved to France and starred for Perpignan, scoring 80 points in 36 appearances.

In 2015, Mjekevu returned to the Sharks, but he managed only a handful of appearances before he moved to the Kings in 2016. He then returned to France with Toulouse in 2017 and currently plays in the French third division with Sporting Club Albigeois.

Nico Scheepers

Scheepers made his senior debut for the Cheetahs in 2011 and continued to play for the Bloemfontein side until 2013. The wing then joined Griquas on an initial loan that was made permanent in 2015, before moving to the Griffons in 2015.

Scheepers then retired from rugby to return to his family’s citrus-and-potato farm, before reversing his decision for a short stint with the Boland Cavaliers in 2016.

Jaco Taute

Taute played for the Lions between 2009 and 2012, making his Springbok debut in the 2012 Rugby Championship. He joined the Stormers in 2013, but injuries restricted his time on the field and he made just 23 Super Rugby appearances before moving overseas to Munster in 2016.

After a promising first season in Ireland – during which he was named in the 2016-17 Pro12 Dream Team – Taute suffered another long-term knee injury in 2017.

He joined the Leicester Tigers in England in 2019 and recently captained the team.

Sibusiso ‘S’bura’ Sithole

Sithole made his senior debut for the Sharks in the 2011 Currie Cup and his Super Rugby debut followed in 2013. The centre also played for the Blitzboks during his time in Durban and memorably scored the winner against Australia in the Edinburgh Sevens final.

Sithole’s excellent form earned him a call-up to a Springbok training squad in 2014, but he did not make his debut. He left the Sharks in 2017 to join the Kings and was mostly part of their most recent PRO14 squad before the franchise was liquidated last year.

Francois Venter

Venter made 11 Super Rugby appearances for the Vodacom Bulls before switching to the Cheetahs in 2014, where he was appointed as captain just two years later. During his four years in Bloemfontein, Venter made 83 Super Rugby appearances for the Cheetahs, racking up 15 tries.

In 2018, he moved to England with the Worcester Warriors where he has since played 43 times, scoring 25 points.

Branco du Preez

Du Preez had a short stint in fifteens with the Bulls U21 side in 2010, before he joined the Blitzboks on a permanent basis. He made his Blitzbok debut at the 2010 Wellington Sevens and has gone on to become a senior player, playing 380 Sevens Series games and scoring 1,355 points, including 97 tries.

He won the 2016-17 and 2017-18 Seven Series with the Blitzboks and represented South Africa at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where the Blitzboks won gold.

Elton Jantjies

The flyhalf for the Junior Boks in 2010, Jantjies scored 12 points in the tournament, with Lambie as the team’s kicker. He has spent the majority of his career with the Lions, making over 100 appearances for the Johannesburg team and taking over the captaincy in 2020.

Jantjies’ Lions career was separated by a short loan spell with the Stormers in 2013 and a move to Japan with the Shining Arcs in 2014.

He made his debut for the Springboks in 2012 and has played 37 Tests to date and was part of the 2019 World Cup-winning squad.

Louis Schreuder

Schreuder played all five games for the Junior Boks in 2010. In that same year, he made his senior debut for Western Province and his Super Rugby debut for the Stormers in 2011, winning the Currie Cup in 2012 and 2014.

In 2017, Schreuder had a short spell with the Southern Kings and then joined the Sharks at the end of that year. After a couple of years in Durban, where he captained the Sharks in 2019, he moved to the Newcastle Falcons, where he currently plays.

Adri Jacobs

Jacobs made one appearance for the Junior Boks, as a substitute in the semi-final against New Zealand. The centre most recently played for the SWD Eagles.

Lohan Jacobs

Jacobs made two appearances for the Junior Boks, against New Zealand and England as a replacement. The scrumhalf made his senior debut for the Bulls in the 2011 Currie Cup and also played for UP-Tuks in the Varsity Cup, helping them win the tournament in 2012.

Jacobs most recently played for the Lions in 2015, after which he retired from all rugby.

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Photo: Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

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Dylan Jack