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By Sports Reporter


Baby Boks to face New Zealand in U20 Rugby Championship opener

Recently, the national junior team played a number of preparation matches against senior provincial sides.

The Junior Springboks will kick off the inaugural Rugby Championship Under-20 tournament with a match against New Zealand on 2 May at Sunshine Coast Stadium, it was confirmed at the draw on Wednesday.

The U20 Rugby Championship will see the up-and-coming stars of Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa do battle in a first of its kind between the four southern hemisphere nations.

The event will be played in the Sunshine Coast region, north of Brisbane in Queensland on Australia’s eastern seaboard, and will comprise a round-robin format where all teams will play each other once.

Following the opening round of matches, the Junior Boks will face hosts Australia five days later. Bafana Nhleko’s SA U20 team will conclude their campaign on 12 May when they face Argentina.

Preparing well

Nhleko and his coaching staff have been busy with preparations for the U20 Rugby Championship and World Rugby U20 Championship (to be held in SA later this year) with a series of alignment camps.

Recently, the team played a number of matches against senior provincial sides as part of the camps, to get the training group further aligned and battle ready for the two international events.

According to Nhleko, they were well on course with their preparation programme.

“We are demanding a lot from our group in terms of learning and application, and the players have responded well,” said Nhleko.

“They are aligning to the coaching, how we want to play, and what is required for them to perform at this level.

“Crucially for us, the U20 Rugby Championship will give us time to play against quality opposition, test the group combinations and help us identify the right guys before the final [World Championship] squad selection.”

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Springboks (Bokke/Boks)

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