Sharks duo Fezokuhle Mbatha and JJ van der Mescht will make their first appearances for the Junior Springboks after being named in a 28-man touring squad for matches against England and Wales.
Mbatha and Van der Mescht missed all three U20 International Series clashes in the last two weeks due to their Vodacom Super Rugby commitments. Now, they will take up their places in the squad as the Junior Springboks move into the next phase of their preparation for the World Rugby U20 Championship in Argentina in June.
Flyhalf David Coetzer (facial injury), lock Elrigh Louw (shoulder) and David Kriel (ankle) were ruled out of selection due to their respective injuries.
Roux’s team will face England at Coventry Rugby’s Butts Park Arena on 26 April, while the clash against Wales will take place on 30 April at the Vale Resort outside Cardiff.
‘We’re excited to head over to the UK,’ said Chean Roux. ‘We’ve had three matches to have a look at the players and start developing player combinations, and this tour will offer us the opportunity to put more work into that.
‘It will also give us a good idea of where Fezokuhle and JJ are in terms of their game, as they will play their first matches for the side.
The team knows what we expect as coaches, and they certainly know what the standards are that they have to live up to.’
The team will return to South Africa after the tour for another training camp at their base in Stellenbosch before departing for Argentina on 29 May.
Roux’s charges will meet Scotland on 4 June, before taking on Georgia (8 June) and New Zealand (12 June) in the pool stages. The semi-finals will be contested on 17 June, and the final on 22 June.
Junior Springbok squad (in alphabetical order): Thaakir Abrahams (Sharks), Phendulani Buthelezi (Sharks), Boeta Chamberlain (Sharks), Caleb Dingaan (Sharks), Kudzwai Dube (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Celimpilo Gumede (Sharks), Jaden Hendrikse (Sharks), Francke Horn (Western Province), Hanro Jacobs (Sharks), Sabastiaan Jobb (Blue Bulls), Andrew Kota (Blue Bulls), Jaco Labuschagne (Blue Bulls), Nkosikhona Masuku (Golden Lions), Fezokuhle Mbatha (Sharks), Thabiso Mdletshe (Sharks), James Mollentze (Free State), Jay Cee Nel (Blue Bulls), Sanele Nohamba (Sharks), Asenathi Ntlabakanye (Golden Lions), Marnus Potgieter (Blue Bulls), Rikus Pretorius (Western Province), Dylan Richardson (Sharks), Evan Roos (Sharks), Sibusiso Sangweni (Golden Lions), Janko Swanepoel (Blue Bulls), JJ van der Mescht (Sharks), Emile van Heerden (Sharks), Dameon Venter (Golden Lions)
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