28–man Junior Bok squad announced, Golden Lions roar proud with five


With exactly four weeks to go until the 2017 World Rugby U20 Championship takes centre stage, Junior Bok head coach, Chean Roux has enlisted the services of the best possible 28 future Springbok campaigners.

Five of those featured in the squad that will depart for Georgia on 25 May don Xerox Golden Lions colours. They are Jean-Luc Cilliers (flyhalf); Gianni Lombard (fullback); Len Massyn (loose forward); Reinhard Nothnagel (lock) and Wandisile Simelane (centre/wing).

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Roux has named Ernst van Rhyn, who was the SA U20 vice-captain last season and the SA Schools captain in 2015 as captain, while Johan Grobbelaar has been named the vice-captain.

From the current crop of players, eight played in the U20 Championship last year. Roux’s squad also includes players who represented the SA Schools team last season in the U19 International Series, which included Lombard and Simelane.

“We are pleased with the quality of the players in our squad and we believe the team has the potential to go all the way in the competition,” said Roux. “We had to make a number of tough calls to narrow down the group to 28 players, but we are confident that we have selected a squad worthy of competing against the best teams in the world in Georgia.”

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Commenting on the selection of the captain, Roux spoke highly of Van Rhyn. He said, “Ernst is a hard worker on the field and has proved his worth as a leader in the last few seasons in the SA Schools team and the SA U20s last year. A captain has to lead by example and ensure that there is cohesion in the team at all times, and these qualities will be vital in guiding us through the competition.”

Roux added that he was pleased with their preparation in the run up to Georgia. “We have been working very hard at training in the last two months to prepare both physically and mentally for what we can expect in Tbilisi and we hope that this will pay off.”

Details: The Junior Springboks will face France, Georgia and Argentina in the pool stages of the World Rugby U20 Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia which runs from 31 May to 18 June.

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