Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Compiled by Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport


Nhleko names Junior Boks team for must-win clash against England

The 'Baby Boks' go into the match on the back of a win against Fiji and a defeat against Argentina.


Junior Springboks coach Bafana Nhleko has rolled the dice and named his team for the win-at-all-costs match against England on Tuesday at the World Rugby U20 Championship in Cape Town.

The Baby Boks have to beat England with a bonus point and hope other results go their way for them to stand a chance of playing in the semi-finals of what is effectively the U20 World Cup.

The Pool C match takes place at the Athlone Stadium at 7pm Tuesday. The Junior Boks go into the game on the back of an opening pool win against Fiji and a big defeat by Argentina last time out, on Thursday.

SA U20 team changes

Likhona Finca will make his debut for the SA U20s at right wing, while Herman Lubbe (tighthead prop) is set to earn his first Junior Bok cap off the bench.

Finca’s inclusion, in the place of Joel Leotlela in the No 14 jersey, is one of three changes among the backs. Michail Damon is back in the starting line-up, as fullback in place of Bruce Sherwood, while Josh Boulle got the nod at inside centre over Phillip-Albert van Niekerk.

There are also changes in the forwards. Casper Badenhorst rotates at looshead prop with Ruan Swart, Thomas Dyer will start at lock, with Jaco Grobbelaar named on the bench, Sibabalwe Mahashe moves up from the bench and will start at flanker, and Thabang Mphafi moves from the side of the scrum to No 8.

Nhleko said his team realise the magnitude of Tuesday’s game.

‘Deliver improved performance’

“For us it was about getting stuck into our processes and fixing a few areas from the Argentina game, ensuring we get our energy and focus back, for what is an important game for us,” said Nhleko about how his team have responded to the Argentina defeat and their attitude in training in the last few days.

“We are mentally prepared and know the scale of this encounter and we are ready to meet the challenge of an England side that’s full of confidence following two wins.

“The players pride themselves on representing South Africa and they want to deliver an improved performance.”

Junior Bok team: Michail Damon, Likhona Finca, Jurenzo Julius, Joshua Boulle, Litelihle Bester, Liam Koen, Asad Moos, Thabang Mphafi, Bathobele Hlekani, Sibabalwe Mahashe, JF van Heerden, Thomas Dyer, Zachary Porthen (capt), Luca Bakkes, Casper Badenhorst. Bench: Ethan Bester, Liyema Ntshanga, Herman Lubbe, Jaco Grobbelaar, Tiaan Jacobs, Divan Fuller, Tylor Sefoor, Phillip-Albert van Niekerk

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