Stormers flyhalf Damian Willemse has joined the Junior Springboks at a training camp in Stellenbosch ahead of the World Rugby U20 Championship in France.
The 28-man squad assembled at the side’s training base in Stellenbosch on Monday to prepare for the global tournament.
Willemse (Stormers) and Muller du Plessis (Blitzboks) come into the squad as planned, while Ruan Vermaak returns after recovering from the knee injury that ruled him out of the team’s UK tour earlier this month.
‘It is great to have Damian, Muller and Ruan back,’ said coach Chean Roux. ‘It means our full squad is on the field, and that is vital as we wrap up our preparations at home for the World Rugby U20 Championship.
‘Muller and Ruan have trained with us, and although this is Damian’s first camp, the experience he gained from being part of the team for the tournament in Georgia last year will set him in good stead.’
The team will depart for the south of France on Friday. They will face Georgia on 30 May, Ireland on 3 June, and France on 7 June.
‘The big thing for us this week will be to get into tournament mode on and off the field so that the players are in the right frame of mind mentally and ready for the challenge physically,’ said Roux.
‘After the UK tour, the players know what to expect in France, so that definitely assisted in ensuring that they arrived at training switched on early on Monday.’
Roux reiterated that they had not achieved anything after winning all of their warm-up matches in the lead-up to the holding camp.
‘What happened in the warm-up games will have no significance when we arrive in France,’ said the coach.
‘All that counts is what we do on the field over there. So although we are pleased with the quality of the games we played and the lessons learned, our journey only begins next week.’
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