Junior Springboks coach Chean Roux has named his 28-man squad for the U20 World Rugby Championship in France in June.
Salmaan Moerat will captain the side featuring seven players who participated in last year’s tournament, including flyhalf Damian Willemse, centre Wandisile Simelane, flank Muller Uys, fullback Gianni Lombard, scrumhalf Rewan Kruger and hooker Daniel Jooste.
Moerat and Willemse have both made their Stormers debuts this year and utility back Muller du Plessis represented the Blitzboks in the World Rugby Sevens Series.
‘This is a talented squad with solid international experience, and we are confident in their abilities,’ said Roux. ‘We had to make a few tough calls, especially after the matches against Georgia, but we believe we have a squad worthy of competing against the best U20 teams in the world.
‘Salmaan is a born leader. He led the Western Province U18 Craven Week team and the SA Schools team, and he did so with distinction.
‘He has been equally influential at our training camps since the squad gathered in February, and all of the players have immense respect for him, so he was the natural choice as the captain.’
The team opens their campaign on 30 May against Georgia and then take on Ireland on 3 June, and France on 7 June in the pool stage.
Junior Springboks squad:
Zak Burger (Sharks, scrumhalf)
Ben-Jason Dixon (Western Province, lock)
Lubabalo Dobela (Free State, flyhalf)
Muller du Plessis (Sharks, utility back)
Schalk Erasmus (Western Province, hooker)
Tyrone Green (Golden Lions, wing)
Jack Hart (Golden Lions, scrumhalf)
Lyle Hendricks (Western Province, centre)
Daniel Jooste (Western Province, hooker)
Cohen Kiewit (Golden Lions, prop)
Rewan Kruger (Free State, scrumhalf)
Gianni Lombard (Golden Lions, fullback)
Nathan McBeth (Golden Lions, prop)
Salmaan Moerat (captain, Western Province, lock)
Sihle Njezula (Western Province, wing)
Ruan Nortje (Blue Bulls, lock)
Asenathi Ntlabakanye (Golden Lions, prop)
Rikus Pretorius (Western Province, centre)
Manuel Rass (Golden Lions, centre)
Sazi Sandi (Western Province, prop)
Dian Schoonees (Golden Lions, loose forward)
Wandisile Simelane (Golden Lions, centre)
PJ Steenkamp (Golden Lions, loose forward)
Alulutho Tshakweni (Eastern Province, prop)
Muller Uys (Western Province, loose forward)
Tiaan van der Merwe (Golden Lions, prop)
Ruan Vermaak (Golden Lions, lock)
Damian Willemse (Western Province, flyhalf)
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images