Junior Boks coach Chean Roux has made four changes to his team for their second World Rugby U20 Championship match against Ireland in Narbonne on Sunday.
Two of the changes were injury-enforced as winger Sihle Nejzula and centre Rikus Pretorius suffered ankle injuries against Georgia.
Blitzbok Muller du Plessis will start on the left wing, while Lyle Hendricks will partner up with Wandisile Simelane in the midfield respectively.
The other changes were at tighthead prop where Asenathi Ntlabakanye comes in for Sazi Sandi, and at flank where Ben-Jason Dixon takes over from PJ Steenkamp.
Sandi and Steenkamp have been named among the replacements, with the only new face on the bench being centre Manuel Rass.
‘We lost two players to injury, and hopefully, they will be back in contention for selection as the competition progresses,’ said Roux. ‘But we have suitable substitutes for them and their selection is just reward for the hard work they have put in.
‘The other changes were once again a case of selecting combinations that we thought would be best suited to the challenge that Ireland poses.’
Roux expected a big onslaught from Ireland, who will be determined to register their first victory of the competition to keep themselves in contention for a possible semi-final spot after going down against France in their opening match.
With the top team in each pool and the single next-best placed team in the competition at the conclusion of the pool stage advancing to the semi-finals, every match is vital in the tournament.
‘Ireland are a territory driven team, and they like to dominate with their forwards in the lineouts and scrums,’ said Roux. ‘So our defence has to be solid and we need to oppose their counter-attacks.
‘We need to come to the party in this game and hopefully, we can do that.’
The match kicks off at 4:30pm and will be broadcast live on SuperSport 5.
The Junior Boks will face hosts, France, in their final pool match in Narbonne on Thursday.
Junior Springboks –15. Gianni Lombard, 14. Tyrone Green, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Lyle Hendricks, 11 Muller du Plessis, 10 – Damian Willemse, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Muller Uys, 7 Ben-Jason Dixon, 6 Dian Schoonees, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Salmaan Moerat (c), 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 Daniel Jooste, 1 Nathan McBeth.
Subs: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Alulutho Tshakweni, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Ruan Vermaak, 20 PJ Steenkamp, 21 Rewan Kruger, 22 Lulbabalo Dobela, 23 Manuel Rass.
Photo: Manuel Blondeau/Getty Images