Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux – who is guiding the SA U19 team on their tour to Georgia – made wholesale changes to his team for their second and final match against the hosts at the Shevardeni Rugby Stadium on Thursday, with only three players retaining their starting spots.
The trio are Werner Gouws (looseforward), Stravino Jacobs (winger) and Muzi Manyike (fullback). Once again all 29 players in the touring group were named in the match-day squad, and all the players will be allowed to take the field.
The SA U19s kicked off their two-match tour with a 28-21 victory against Georgia on Monday, and another rewarding result would not only see them return home successful, it would also reaffirm the coaching staff’s faith in the players with an eye on the future.
“We made several changes to ensure that every player gets a chance to play,” said Roux.
“Some of the players will start a match in the green and gold for the first time, so it will be a big occasion for them. We also have expanded bench, so we will make changes through the course of match.”
Roux expected Georgia to stick to the strengths that saw them produce a competitive showing in their opening encounter.
“They will front up physically and produce strong scrums and lineouts once again,” he said.
“What I would like from our team though, is to play more attacking rugby. That said, we have had very little time to prepare, so the players will have to play the situations on the field.
“Once again it is important to note this is an opportunity to assess the players and see where we are in terms of the Under-19 group, who will be U20 next year. We intend sitting down with the players after this tour to discuss their strengths and weaknesses, and the areas they need to work on during the off-season, as we will only see one another again in March.”
The match kicks off at 09h00 (SA time) and will be streamed live on https://www.facebook.com/RugbyTVGeorgia/ and https://www.facebook.com/GeorgianRugby/.
SA U19 team to face Georgia:
15 – Muzi Manyike (Xerox Golden Lions)
14 – Keenan Twigg (Leopards)
13 – Diego Appollis (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
12 – Rynhardt Jonker (captain - Cell C Sharks)
11 – Stravino Jacobs (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
10 – Ethan Wentzel (Valke)
9 – Thomas Bursey (DHL Western Province)
8 – Werner Gouws (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
7 – Morne Brandon (Xerox Golden Lions)
6 – Thabo Ndimande (Valke)
5 – Dylan de Leeuw (DHL Western Province)
4 – Werner Coetzee (Cell C Sharks)
3 – Siphekahle Dube (Cell C Sharks)
2 – Jason Alexander (DHL Western Province)
1 – Thabiso Mdletshe (Cell C Sharks)
16 – JJ Kotze (DHL Western Province)
17 – Benele Mthenjane (Xerox Golden Lions)
18 – Hanro Jacobs (Cell C Sharks)
19 – Adrian Alberts (Xerox Golden Lions)
20 – Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks)
21 – Juan Mostert (DHL Western Province)
22 – Lunga Ncube (Cell C Sharks)
23 – Lindo Ncusane (Xerox Golden Lions)
24 – Dewald Donald (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
25 – Willem Steenkamp (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
26 – Dawid Kellerman (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
27 – Zwelendaba Mnombo (DHL Western Province)
28 – Cohen Jasper (Toyota Free State)
29 – Bernard van der Linde (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
Issued by SA Rugby Communications