Strong Junior Boks face varsity’s best

Four players with U20 World Championship experience will line up for the Junior Boks against the Varsity Cup Dream Team in Stellenbosch on Tuesday.

Fullback Warrick Gelant, flank Dan du Preez, lock Abongile Nonkontwana and hooker Joseph Dweba all took part in last year's tournament in New Zealand.

The historic clash, which marks the first of its kind between the sides, is an important part of the Junior Boks’ preparation for the renamed World Rugby U20 Championship, which will be hosted in Italy in June.

'This match is exactly what the team needs at this stage,' said Junior Boks coach Dawie Theron. 'Although we started a while back with our training camp in Stellenbosch, we only had the full training squad together for a short while as some of the players had Varsity Cup and provincial commitments.'

Meanwhile, the Bulls have refused to release Tuks centre Dan Kriel and hooker Jaco Visagie to the Varsity Cup Dream Team.

Kriel’s spot at 12 has been taken by Pukke's Johan Deysel, while Shimlas' Elandré Hugget comes in for Visagie, who was due to start as a replacement.

Varsity Cup semi-finalists Tuks will still have five players in the match 23, the same number as champions Shimlas, with finalists Pukke (nine) providing the most.

The match kicks off at 6:30pm at the Danie Craven Stadium and will be televised on SuperSport 1.

Junior Springboks – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Kanyo Ngcukana, 13 JT Jackson, 12 Daniel du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Ernst Stapelberg, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Dan du Preez, 6 CJ Velleman, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Abongile Nonkontwana, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche.
Subs: 16 Mzamo Majola, 17 Jan van der Merwe, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Marco Janse van Vuuren, 22 Brandon Thomson, 23 Grant Hermanus.

Varsity Cup Dream Team – 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Maphutha Dolo, 13 Rowayne Beukman, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Jean-Paul Lewis, 10 Innocent Radebe, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Jeandré Rudolph , 7 Henco Venter, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Reniel Hugo (c), 4 Irne Herbst, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Johan Smith.
Subs: 16 Nqobisizwe Mxoli, 17 Elandré Hugget, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Walt Steenkamp, 20 Gerhard Olivier, 21 Mthokozisi Mkhabela, 22 Johnny Welthagen, 23 Lihleli Xoli.

Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

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Simon Borchardt