Junior Springbok captain Phendulani Buthelezi said on Wednesday they are ready to go out and express themselves at World Rugby U20 Championship in Argentina as the team began the journey to the international showpiece.
Buthelezi and his charges departed for Rosario via Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, and the skipper said they were excited for the trip.
The SAU20’s - who won the bronze medal in the showpiece in the south of France last year - will face Scotland, Georgia and New Zealand in the pool stages of the tournament on 4, 8 and 12 June respectively. The semi-finals will be contested on Monday, 17 June, and the final on Saturday, 22 June.
“Everyone is very excited for the World Rugby U20 Championship,” said Buthelezi.
“We worked extremely hard in South Africa, and we are now ready to get on the plane and get going over there.
“We are aware of the long journey ahead, but the players have been exposed to the challenges of travelling before on our tour to the UK. We have also been working with our team doctor regarding the time difference, so the guys are aware of the travel strategy, and we are very excited for what lies ahead.”
Following months of preparations, five warm-up matches (in the U20 International Series and on their warm-up tour to the UK), and a holding camp in the last few weeks, Buthelezi said his charges were ready to take to the field.
“We prepared really well in what has been a tough four months on the training field, and we have done everything we can as players as far as our preparation is concerned,” said the talented flanker.
“So it is now a matter of going out there, expressing ourselves and trying to make the country proud.
“Our game plan is in place for our opening game against Scotland, and when we get to Argentina we will fine-tune things, and hopefully we can hit the ground running in our first game and give it our best effort.”
Audio clips of Junior Springbok captain Phendulani Buthelezi are available below in English and Zulu.
Issued by SA Rugby Communications