• Where are they now: 2010 Junior Boks (Forwards)

    In the eighth part of a series, DYLAN JACK rewinds to the 2010 U20 World Championship and looks at what happened to the Junior Springboks.

    Where are they now: 2010 Junior Boks (Backs)

    CJ Stander (c)

    The Junior Springbok captain played for the Vodacom Bulls until 2012, when he was told he was too small to play flank and would have to convert to hooker.

    He then joined Munster and made an impressive start to his career at his new club, scoring two tries on debut against the Glasgow Warriors. Since then, he has accumulated 42 tries (210 points) in 150 appearances for the club.

    Stander has been a star performer for Munster in every season since joining the squad and included in every Ireland Test squad since he qualified for selection in 2016. Stander is currently Ireland’s first-choice eighthman.

    Fanie van der Walt

    Van der Walt played four games for the Junior Springboks, including starting at blindside flank in the semi-final against New Zealand and third-place playoff against England.

    After the tournament, he played for the Cheetahs until 2012. He then stepped away from rugby and studied at the South African Theological Seminary. He serves as a pastor at the Christian Revival Church.

    Siya Kolisi

    Kolisi played for the Junior Springboks again in 2011 and proceeded to make his debuts for Western Province and the Stormers.

    Arguably the most famous name on this list, Kolisi captained the Springboks to the 2019 World Cup title.

    He recently ended his decade-long association with Western Province and the Stormers, whom he captained from 2017, to join the Sharks.

    Lubabalo ‘Tera’ Mtembu

    Mtembu spent 10 years at the Sharks after making his senior debut in 2011. The loose forward captained the Durban team in 2014, succeeding Keegan Daniel.

    He is set to make his debut in the USA’s Major League in March after signing a three-year contract with the New England Free Jacks.

    Kene Okafor

    A graduate of Kearsney College, Nigerian-born lock Okafor also played for the Junior Springboks in the 2010 U20 Championship in Argentina.

    He would leave the Sharks in 2011 for a move to the Lions and spent a year in Johannesburg before joining the Leopards in November 2012.

    Okafor retired from rugby in 2015 after earning his bachelor’s degree in economics and international trade and currently works as a wealth specialist at Carrick Wealth in Johannesburg.

    Sebastian de Chaves

    De Chaves, who started all five games for the Junior Boks in 2010, moved overseas to France after signing for Mont de Marsan in 2012. The lock has since had stints in England with the Leicester Tigers, London Irish and Newcastle Falcons.

    He signed for the Austin Gilgronis in 2020 and will make his Major League debut in 2021.

    Mlungisi Bali

    Bali played for the Bulls U20 side in the 2010 Provincial Championship. He then moved to the Griffons in 2013 and played for the Welkom-based side until 2016, when he moved back to the Eastern Cape and played for the Border Bulldogs.

    Sadly, Bali passed away on 3 January 2018 after succumbing to injuries related to a stabbing incident at a traditional homecoming ceremony.

    Peet Marais

    Marais played alongside his older brother Jandre at the Sharks until he left the Durban side in 2014 to join his brother in France.

    He currently plays for Brive and has made over 50 appearances for the Top 14 side.

    Marcel van der Merwe

    Van der Merwe started his senior career with the Cheetahs before he moved to the Bulls, making his debut for the Pretoria side in 2014. During his first stint with the Bulls, he made over 50 appearances in all competitions and was called up to the Springboks, making his Test debut in 2014.

    He then moved to France with Toulon and played close to 100 games for the French side.

    Van der Merwe returned to the Bulls in 2020 and recently helped the team win Super Rugby Unlocked and the Currie Cup.

    Ruan Dreyer

    Dreyer has played most of his professional career with the Lions. During his first stint in Johannesburg, the tighthead prop made 78 appearances and was part of the team that made the Super Rugby final in 2017 and in 2018.

    He then moved to Gloucester but, after struggling for regular game time in England, he returned to the Lions in 2020.

    Brummer Badenhorst

    Badenhorst was the Junior Boks’ first-choice loosehead prop in 2010. He played for Maties in the 2012 Varsity Cup and then moved to Bloemfontein with the Cheetahs.

    He most recently played for UP-Tuks.

    Wessel du Rand

    Du Rand played three times for the Junior Boks and started at tighthead prop in the third-place playoff against England. He most recently played for the Valke.

    Monde Hadebe

    Hadebe was the Junior Springboks’ first-choice hooker in 2010. He was highly regarded at the Sharks, playing over 50 games in Durban between 2011 and 2015.

    In 2016, Hadebe was handed a four-ban after testing positive for two banned substances.

    He recently made his rugby comeback after joining Griquas and representing the team in Super Rugby Unlocked and the Currie Cup.

    Francois du Toit

    Du Toit, who provided backup at both flank and hooker in 2010, started his professional career at the Lions. He then moved to the Pumas in 2013, winning the Vodacom Cup in 2015.

    In 2016, Du Toit moved to Spain and played for Barcelona in the Spanish División de Honor.

    Photo: Grupo44/LatinContent via Getty Images

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    Dylan Jack