Pollard only change for Springboks (team sheet)

Handre Pollard replaces Morne Steyn as the only change to the South African side that went down by a single pint to Australia last week in Perth. The axe falls on Steyn because his penalty kick did not make touch which allowed the Aussies to run in a last minute try and squeak home by a single point in a match where both teams looked distinctly average.

More surprisingly is the omission of Bok hard-man Bismark Du Plessis. The much looser Adriaan Strauss retains his place, despite not producing any thing of great substance last week. No doubt Du Plessis will be utilised early in the second half against New Zealand, even though he is generally not seen as an impact player.

South Africa – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Warren Whiteley, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Damian de Allende.


South Africa U20s name strong side for last pool match against Samoa U20s

Baby Bok coach Dawie Theron will be looking to advance to the knock-out stages with an unbeaten record. The former Griquas mentor noted that momentum is a key aspect in any tournament.

‘We have done our homework very thoroughly and will leave nothing to chance. This is a very tough tournament to compete in so you have to be at your best in each match,’ said Theron.

South Africa U20s – 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Handré Pollard (c), 9 JP Smith, 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Thabo Mabuza, 5 Nico Janse van Rensburg, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Corniel Els, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Subs:16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Mox Mxoli, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Victor Sekekete, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Zee Mkhabela, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Warrick Gelant.

Changes for Baby Boks’ last pool match

TeamsheetsDawie Theron has tweaked his lineup for the SA u20 side’s final pool match, against hosts France.

Rising Blitzbokke star, Justin Geduld, has been withdrawn because of an injury he picked up in the first half against England. The other changes seem to be tactical, especially at scrumhalf where Stefan Ungerer, who struggled against England, is replaced by the nippier Hanco Venter.

South Africa u20 side

15. Cheslin Kolbe (DHL Western Province), 14. Luther Obi (Platinum Leopard), 13. Dries Swanepoel (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 11. Seabelo Senatla (SARU contracted), 10. Handré Pollard (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 9. Hanco Venter (The Sharks), 8. Ruan Steenkamp (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 7. Jacques du Plessis (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 6. Roelof Smit (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 5. Dennis Visser (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 4. Irné Herbst (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 3. Marné Coetzee (The Sharks), 2. Jacques du Toit (Toyota Free State Cheetahs), 1. Sti Sithole (DHL Western Province)

Reserves: 16. Andrew Beerwinkel (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 17. Mike Willemse (DHL Western Province), 18. Jannes Kirsten (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 19. Aidon Davis (EP Kings) 20. Percy Williams (MTN Golden Lions), 21. Robert du Preez (The Sharks), 22. Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Blue Bulls), 23. Devon Martinus (MTN Golden Lions)

SA School side named to face French

South Africa named a strong school side to take on the French that includes two survivors from last year (prop Pierre Schoeman and flanker Thabo Mabuza)  and World u20 Championship winning fly-half Handré Pollard.

SA Schools side:

15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Sandile Kubeka, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Jano Venter, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Thabo Mabuza, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Pierre Schoeman (c).
Subs: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Abongile Nonkontwana, 20 Daniel du Preez, 21 Akhona Sihunu, 22 Ryno Eksteen, 23 Warrick Gelant.


Baby Bok star’s father says they “haven’t made a decision” about his professional future yet

André Pollard, father of Baby Bok fly-half and current Paarl Gynamsium schoolboy Handré Pollard, says that no decision has been made as to where his son will ply his trade next year. 

It has been speculated in the media that he signed for the Bulls, but Pollard senior put paid to these claims saying, ‘the Bulls and the Sharks have offered Handre some good deals. But we haven’t made a decision yet.’

Having captained Western Province at the 1987 U18 Craven Week, he went on to say that, ‘Western Province have played a major role in Handre’s development and we really appreciate that…but we will wait until July to make a final decision. Right now, Handre must focus on his rugby.’

And what a game of rugby it is; the Junior Rugby World Championship final against New Zealand this Friday at Newlands in Cape Town. (kick off 7pm CAT)