• Where are they now: 2011 Junior Boks (Forwards)

    In the sixth part of a series, DYLAN JACK rewinds to the 2011 U20 World Championship and looks at what happened to the Junior Springboks.

    Arno Botha (c)

    The 2011 Junior Springbok captain played for the Vodacom Bulls between 2011 and 2017, making his Super Rugby and Springbok debuts in 2012.

    In 2018, Botha moved overseas and joined the London Irish in England on a short-term contract, before he signed for Munster. During his time in Ireland, Botha made 43 appearances, scoring 40 points.

    He then returned to the Bulls in 2020 and helped them win the 2020 Currie Cup, scoring two tries in the final against the Sharks.

    Nizaam Carr

    Carr made his Western Province debut in 2011 and his Stormers debut a year later. He spent eight seasons in the Western Cape before he joined Wasps in England on an initial loan in 2017, which was made permanent in 2018.

    In two seasons in the Premiership, Carr made 45 appearances, scoring 45 points. After his contract with Wasps ran out, Carr was recruited by Jake White to join the Bulls in 2020. He recently captained the Pretoria-based team in their pre-season match against Eastern Province.

    Jean Cook

    Cook had two stints with the Cheetahs, which were separated by a two-year spell with the Bulls in 2012 and 2013.

    In 2015, Cook made his first move overseas with Italian side Zebre, where he played for a season, before the loose forward moved to Japan with the Kintetsu Liners.

    Cornell du Preez

    Du Preez joined the Kings at the end of 2011 and made his Super Rugby debut in 2013. He was then recruited by Alan Solomons to move to Scotland with Edinburgh, where he spent six years.

    After qualifying to play for Scotland on the three-year residency rule, Du Preez made his Test debut in 2017. In 2018, the loose forward moved to England with the Worcester Warriors, where he currently plays.

    Eben Etzebeth

    One of three future 2019 World Cup winners, Etzebeth made his name at Western Province and the Stormers, where he played between 2011 and 2018.

    Following the World Cup, Etzebeth joined Toulon in France, which is his second overseas stint after playing in Japan for the Red Hurricanes.

    John Roy Jenkinson

    Jenkinson made his senior debut for the Leopards, where the prop spent five years between 2011 and 2015.

    He joined the Bulls in 2016, but managed only a handful of appearances before he left for Japan in 2018, and played for the Sanix Blues in the Top League.

    In 2020, he returned to South African to join the Griquas.

    Siya Kolisi 

    Arguably the most famous name on this list, Kolisi captained the Springboks to the 2019 World Cup title.

    He recently ended his decade-long association with Western Province and the Stormers, whom he captained from 2017, to join the Sharks.

    Stephan Kotze

    Kotze played for the Cheetahs for two years in 2011 and 2012, before he moved to the Pumas in 2013.

    The loosehead prop then joined Griquas in 2017, where he has made 49 appearances.

    Francois Kleinhans

    Kleinhans came through the Sharks youth ranks and made his senior professional debut for the Durban side in 2011.

    Despite spending six years in Durban, the loose forward struggled for regular game time, which led to him joining the Pumas in 2017, where he currently plays.

    Mbongeni ‘Bongi’ Mbonambi

    The last of the 2019 World Cup crew on this list, Mbonambi was part of the Bulls squad for three seasons, before a lack of starting opportunities led to him moving to Cape Town with the Stormers in 2015.

    The hooker has currently made over 50 appearances for the Stormers.

    Nic Schonert 

    After playing his youth rugby at the Sharks, Schonert had short stints with Griquas and the Cheetahs, before he decided to join the Worcester Warriors in 2014.

    The tighthead prop has made over 100 appearances for the Warriors and was invited to an England training camp in 2017.

    Juan Schoeman

    Schoeman only made a handful of appearances for the Bulls before joining the Sharks in 2015. The loosehead prop spent five seasons in Durban, making a collective 69 appearances in all competitions.

    After a short loan with the Kings, Schoeman joined Bath in 2020, where he currently plays.

    Michael van Vuuren 

    After starting his career with the Cheetahs, Van Vuuren joined Stade Francais in 2012. He returned to South Africa with the Kings in 2014, but moved to England with the Leicester Tigers a year later.

    Stints with Bath and the Northampton Saints followed, before the hooker joined the Ealing Trailfinders in the English Championship in 2020.

    Ruan Venter

    Venter made his senior debut for the Lions in 2013, after recovering from a long-term knee injury picked up while he played for the Junior Springboks.

    The lock has since played for the Pumas (on loan) and the Leopards.

    ALSO READ: What’s in our new issue?

    Subscribe here

    Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Getty Images

    Post by

    Dylan Jack