All or nothing for Junior Boks

The Junior Springboks have made eight changes for their final must-win pool match against France on Wednesday.

South Africa, who lost 19-13 to Argentina last Saturday, need a bonus-point victory in Manchester to progress to the semi-finals of the World Rugby U20 Championship.

There are two positional switches to the starting XV, with Curwin Bosch and Manie Libbok switching between fullback and flyhalf.

The other three changes in the backline are at centre where JT Jackson replaces Franco Naude, while wing Edwill van der Merwe and scrumhalf Embrose Papier earn their first starts as replacements for Mosolwa Mafuma and James Hall respectively.

Among the forwards, hooker Jan-Henning Campher and lock Ruben de Villiers have been handed their first starts in place of Tango Balekile and Eduard Zandberg respectively, while Cobus Wiese replaces Ersnt van Rhyn at blindside flank.

Only two players have retained their places on the bench from the clash against Argentina, props Nicolaas Oosthuizen and Jaco Holtzhausen.

'The changes were partly due to player management, but we also feel that this is the best team for the challenge against France,' said coach Dawie Theron. 'We need to go out there and get the bonus point, and we believe this team is the best equipped to get us that result. This is an all-or-nothing game for us.'

Theron expected a challenging task against France, but he said his team had the determination and skill to play their way into the semi-final.

The match will kick off at 20:45 (SA time).

Junior Springboks – 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 S’busiso Nkosi, 13 Jeremy Ward (c), 12 JT Jackson, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Junior Pokomela, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Zain Davids, 5
Eli Snyman, 4 Ruben de Villiers, 3 Carlü Sadie, 2 Jan-Henning Campher, 1 Franco van den Berg.
Subs: 16 Tango Balekile, 17 Nicolaas Oosthuizen, 18 Jaco Holtzhausen, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Denzel Hill, 21 James Hall, 22 Franco Naude, 23 Keanu Vers.

Photo: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Post by

Simon Borchardt