The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd on Tuesday congratulated the ten players from the Vodacom Blue Bulls named in the Junior Springboks side to play in the World Rugby Junior Championship in England next month.
Jan-Henning Campher, Stedman Gans, Denzel Hill, Jaco Holtzhausen, JT Jackson, Manie Libbok, Franco Naude, Embrose Papier, Eli Snyman and Franco van den Berg all made the side announced by SA Rugby earlier on Tuesday.
Xander Janse van Rensburg, High Performance Manager of the BBC, said the whole union are pleased about the selection of so many of their players.
“On behalf of all at the BBC and the Blue Bulls Rugby Union, I would like to congratulate all the guys who made the team. We have been a proud contributor of players to the Junior Springboks and I have no doubt that these ten guys will not only do the #BullsFamily proud, but also the team and South Africa. We are behind them 100% and will back them in every match they play.”
Janse van Rensburg applauded the hard work put in by the players.
“This is something they worked for very hard and we are really pleased to see their efforts being rewared. Talent takes you only so far, then hard work needs to take over and they showed that.”
Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron on Tuesday named his 28-man squad that will do battle at World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester, England, from 7 to 25 June.
The squad features two players who were members of the Junior Springbok squad that finished third at the international showpiece in Italy last year, namely centre JT Jackson and scrumhalf Marco Jansen van Vuren.
Nine members of the SA Schools team that featured in the Under-18 International Series in South Africa last year have also been included. They are centre Stedman Gans, flyhalves Manie Libbok and Curwin Bosch, scrumhalf Embrose Papier, locks Ruben de Villiers and Van Rhyn, loose forwards Cobus Wiese and Zain Davids and prop Carlü Sadie.
Among the players who were ruled out of contention for selection due to injury were Vodacom Blue Bulls utility forward Hendre Stassen, nursing an ankle injury.
The team will play their first official warm-up match on Friday at Wits University in Johannesburg against the Xerox Golden Lions Under-19 and Under-21 teams, with an eye on sharpening up their game before the tournament.
This will be followed by clashes against Maties in Stellenbosch on Tuesday, 17 May and the SWD Eagles in Oudtshoorn on Saturday 21 May, with the team set to depart for the international showpiece on 2 June.
Junior Springbok squad for World Rugby U20 Championship (in alphabetical order):
Tango Balekile (Hooker – Eastern Province)
Kwenzo Blose (Prop – Toyota Free State)
Curwin Bosch (Flyhalf / Fullback – Cell C Sharks)
Jan-Henning Campher (Hooker – Vodacom Blue Bulls)
Zain Davids (Loose forward – DHL Western Province)
Ruben de Villiers (Lock – DHL Western Province)
Stedman Gans (Centre – Vodacom Blue Bulls)
James Hall (Scrumhalf – Eastern Province Kings)
Denzel Hill (No 8 – Vodacom Blue Bulls)
Jaco Holtzhausen (Prop – Vodacom Blue Bulls)
JT Jackson (Centre – Vodacom Blue Bulls)
Marco Jansen van Vuren (Scrumhalf – Xerox Golden Lions)
Manie Libbok (Flyhalf / Centre – Vodacom Blue Bulls)
Mosolwa Mafuma (Wing – Toyota Free State)
Franco Naude (Centre – Vodacom Blue Bulls)
S’busiso Nkosi (Wing – Cell C Sharks)
Nicolaas Oosthuizen (Prop – Eastern Province)
Embrose Papier (Scrumhalf – Vodacom Blue Bulls)
Junior Pokomela (No 8 – Eastern Province, vice-captain)
Carlü Sadie (Prop – DHL Western Province)
Eli Snyman (Lock – Vodacom Blue Bulls)
Franco van den Berg (Prop – Vodacom Blue Bulls)
Edwill van der Merwe (Wing – DHL Western Province)
Ernst van Rhyn (Lock / Loose forward – DHL Western Province, vice-captain)
Keanu Vers (Fullback – Eastern Province)
Jeremy Ward (Centre – Eastern Province, captain)
Cobus Wiese (Loose forward – DHL Western Province)
Eduard Zandberg (Lock – DHL Western Province)