10 Varsity Cup players to represent Junior Boks

FNB Varsity Cup

Gianni Lombard, Manie Rass and Sazi Sandi will don the Green and Gold when the Junior Boks play Georgia in the warm-up match for Junior World Cup on Friday.

Varsity Cup winning coach and current SA Under-20 boss Chean Roux made several changes to his match-day squad in line with his objective to give as many players as possible ahead of the World Rugby U20 Championship.

Lombard will take the strategic reigns on the day as the former FNB Wits player moves from fullback to flyhalf, his FNB Wits teammate Manie Rass starting at 13, while FNB Maties prop Sazi Sandi, takes over the captaincy from Salmaan Moerat.

The match-day squad will harbour 10 players who came through the Varsity Cup structures, including Lombard (FNB Wits), Rass (FNB Wits), Sandi (FNB Maties), Lyle Hendricks (FNB UWC), Ben-Jason Dixon (FNB Maties), Muller du Plessis (FNB UP-Tuks), Muller Uys (FNB Maties), Ruan Nortje (FNB UP-Tuks) with Schalk Erasmus (FNB Maties) and Wandisile Simelane (FNB Wits) on the bench.

The former FNB Maties coach is expecting Georgia to pose a strong challenge, despite going down 55-14 in their first outing at Paul Roos Gymnasium last week according to the SARU website.

“We are expecting a similar challenge against Georgia to last week. They are a very good scrummaging team and they like to use their forwards to gain ascendancy, and we are ready for that,” said Roux. “With regards to our game, we would like to play at a high tempo, but improve on our handling as the handling errors crept in during the latter stages of the game last week.

“Defensively there were one or two slip-ups last week, while we were also under pressure in the scrums at times, and hopefully we can rectify that in the second Test.”

Junior Springboks to face Georgia (Friday, 20 April)
15 Muller du Plessis (FNB UP-Tuks)
14 David Kriel
13 Manuel Rass (FNB Wits)
12 Lyle Hendricks (FNB UWC)
11 Sihle Njezula
10 Gianni Lombard (FNB Wits)
9 Jack Hart
8 Muller Uys (FNB Maties)
7 Ryno Pieterse
6 JC Pretorius
5 Ben-Jason Dixon (FNB Maties)
4 Ruan Nortje (FNB UP-Tuks)
3 Sazi Sandi (captain – FNB Maties)
2 PJ Botha
1 Tiaan van der Merwe

16 Schalk Erasmus (FNB Maties)
17 Alulutho Tshakweni
18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye
19 PJ Steenkamp
20 Phendulani Buthelezi
21 Zak Burger
22 Rikus Pretorius
23 Wandisile Simelane (FNB Wits)