Liebenberg leads Junior Boks

Hanro Liebenberg will captain the Junior Springboks at the World Rugby U20 Championship in Italy next month.

The Vodacom Bulls loose forward led the Junior Boks against the Varsity Cup Dream Team in Stellenbosch last month and in the final warm-up match against Argentina last week. 

Coach Dawie Theron has named a 28-man squad (16 forwards and 12 backs) for the three-week tournament that starts on 2 June. Six squad members – Jean-Luc du Preez, Thomas du Toit, Joseph Dweba, Abongile Nonkontwana, Jacques Vermeulen and Warrick Gelant – will represent the Junior Boks for a second successive year. 

There are three changes to the group that travelled to Argentina, with lock RG Snyman, centre EW Viljoen and flyhalf Tinus de Beer replacing Ruan Kramer, CJ Velleman and Ernst Stapelberg.

Theron says the squad boasts a well-balanced selection with the prospect of good combinations.

'With dry weather conditions expected throughout the tournament, we have to take into account that all our matches will be played at night and that's why combinations will play an important role,' said Theron.

The squad will assemble in Stellenboach on Sunday for their final training camp, before the capping ceremony on Tuesday evening. They leave for Italy on Wednesday afternoon.

Junior Bok squad – Hyron Andrews (Sharks), Rikus Bothma (Western Province), Dan du Preez (Sharks), Jean-Luc du Preez (Sharks), Thomas du Toit (Sharks), Joseph Dweba (Free State Cheetahs), Njabulo Gumede (Blue Bulls), Jason Jenkins (Blue Bulls), Hanro Liebenberg (Blue Bulls) (c), Mzamo Majola (Sharks), Ox Nche (Free State Cheetahs), Abongile Nonkontwana (Blue Bulls), RG Snyman (Blue Bulls), Jan van der Merwe (Blue Bulls), Frans van Wyk (Western Province), Jacques Vermeulen (Western Province), Tinus de Beer (Blue Bulls), Daniel du Plessis (Western Province), Warrick Gelant (Blue Bulls), Grant Hermanus (Western Province), JT Jackson (Blue Bulls), Malcolm Jaer (EP Kings), Marco Jansen van Vuren (Golden Lions), Khanyo Ngcukana (Western Province), Brandon Thomson (Western Province), Ivan van Zyl (Blue Bulls), EW Viljoen (Western Province), Leolin Zas (Western Province).

Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

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Mariette Adams