Cape Town – Junior Springbok prop Sazi Sandi will lead a new-look Junior Springbok squad in their second warm-up match against Georgia at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on Friday.
SA Under-20 coach Chean Roux made several changes to his match-day squad in line with his objective to give as many players as possible a chance to show if they have what it takes to secure a place in his 28-man World Rugby U20 Championship squad.
Sandi, who takes over the captaincy from Salmaan Moerat who trained with the Stormers this week, is one of five players who retained their places in the starting line-up.
The other players are No 8 Muller Uys, wing Sihle Njezula, lock Ruan Nortje and Gianni Lombard, who moves from fullback to flyhalf.
The match-day squad includes 16 players who have progressed through the SA Schools structures, which includes fullback Muller du Plessis who made his Springbok Sevens debut earlier this season.
“This is our second game, so we would like to give everyone a fair chance to play a full game, so that they have the best chance to secure a place in the final squad,” said Roux.
Roux added that he is expecting Georgia to pose a strong challenge, despite going down 55-14 in their first outing at Paul Roos Gymnasium last week.
“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.”
The match will kick off at 16:00 and entrance is R10. The SA Rugby Academy will take on the Western Province Rugby Academy in the curtain-raiser at 13:30.
Junior Springboks to face Georgia (Friday, April 20):
15 Muller du Plessis (Sharks), 14 David Kriel (Western Province), 13 Manuel Rass (Golden Lions), 12 Lyle Hendricks (Western Province), 11 Sihle Njezula (Western Province), 10 Gianni Lombard (Golden Lions), 9 Jack Hart (Golden Lions), 8 Muller Uys (Western Province), 7 Ryno Pieterse (Blue Bulls), 6 JC Pretorius (Blue Bulls), 5 Ben-Jason Dixon (Western Province), 4 Ruan Nortje (Blue Bulls), 3 Sazi Sandi (captain – Western Province), 2 PJ Botha (Golden Lions), 1 Tiaan van der Merwe (Golden Lions)
Substitutes: 16 Schalk Erasmus (Western Province), 17 Alulutho Tshakweni (Eastern Province), 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye (Golden Lions), 19 PJ Steenkamp (Golden Lions), 20 Phendulani Buthelezi (Sharks), 21 Zak Burger (Sharks), 22 Rikus Pretorius (Western Province), 23 Wandisile Simelane (Golden Lions)