World Rugby Under-20 Championship: South Africa Junior Boks shuffle team for pivotal clash against England


The South Africa Junior Springbok team to face England in a crucial Pool C match of the World Rugby Under-20 Championship on Tuesday at the Athlone Stadium in Cape Town features several changes from the line-up that faced Argentina.

The final group encounter, kicking off at 19h00, will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

Likhona Finca will make his debut for the SA U20s at right wing, replacing Joel Leotlela in the No. 14 jersey. Herman Lubbe (tighthead prop) is set to earn his first Junior Bok cap off the bench.

Michail Damon returns to the starting line-up as fullback in place of Bruce Sherwood, while Josh Boulle takes over the inside centre position from Phillip-Albert van Niekerk.

In the pack of forwards, four changes have been made. Casper Badenhorst rotates at loosehead prop with Ruan Swart, Thomas Dyer will start at lock with Jaco Grobbelaar moving to the bench, Sibabalwe Mahashe steps up from the bench to start at flanker, and Thabang Mphafi shifts from the side of the scrum to No. 8.

Junior Boks head coach Bafana Nhleko emphasized the importance of Tuesday’s game and expressed confidence in his team’s readiness.

“For us, it was about getting stuck into our processes and fixing a few areas from the Argentina game, ensuring we get our energy and focus back, for what is an important game for us,” said Nhleko.

“We are mentally prepared and know the scale of this encounter and we are ready to meet the challenge of an England side that’s full of confidence following two wins. The players pride themselves on representing South Africa, and they want to deliver an improved performance.”

The Junior Springbok team to face England is as follows:

Starting XV:

  1. Casper Badenhorst
  2. Luca Bakkes
  3. Zachary Porthen (captain)
  4. Thomas Dyer
  5. JF van Heerden
  6. Sibabalwe Mahashe
  7. Bathobele Hlekani
  8. Thabang Mphafi
  9. Asad Moos
  10. Liam Koen
  11. Litelihle Bester
  12. Joshua Boulle
  13. Jurenzo Julius
  14. Likhona Finca
  15. Michail Damon

Replacements: 16. Ethan Bester
17. Liyema Ntshanga
18. Herman Lubbe
19. Jaco Grobbelaar
20. Tiaan Jacobs
21. Divan Fuller
22. Tylor Sefoor
23. Phillip-Albert van Niekerk

With the Argentina disappointment behind them, the Junior Boks are poised to face an in-form England team. The South Africans are determined to secure a victory and advance in the tournament, showcasing their resilience and commitment on the field.

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