Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux named a fresh mix of players for the fourth and final SA Rugby U20 alignment camp in Stellenbosch next week, with nine players set to make their first appearances at the camp.
The new players in the group of 22 are Diego Appollis, Christie Grobbelaar, Dawid Kellerman, Boitumelo Tsatsane, Brendan Venter (all centres), Cohen Jasper, Richard Kriel, Zeilinga Strydom and Siba Xamlashe (all fullbacks).
Former SA Schools captain Muzi Manyike (centre) was invited to the camp, but had to withdraw due to injury, which made way for Bernard van der Linde (scrumhalf) to make a return.
Four of the nine players were members of the SA U19 team that won back-to-back Internationals against Georgia in Tbilisi late last year, taking the total number of players in the group on the tour to 15.
Roux looked forward to working with the new group of players and said: “We are excited to welcome these players to the alignment camps and we believe their presence will add even more enthusiasm and energy to the group, as this is their first time with us.
“The objective of these camps was to assess the talent on offer with an eye on the SA Rugby Academy programme and the Junior Springbok squad in the next few months, and by casting our net wide over the four weeks of alignment camps, we have achieved that.
“Over the last three weeks we have been able to familiarise ourselves with the players on and off the field, and we have made good strides in exposing the players to our structures and the standards we expect, and next week will be no different.”
Fourth SA Rugby U20 alignment camp squad:
Adriaan Alberts (Xerox Golden Lions; lock)
Diego Appollis (Vodacom Blue Bulls; centre)
Christie Grobbelaar (SA Rugby Sevens Academy; centre)
Celimpilo Gumede (Cell C Sharks; flanker)
Hanro Jacobs (Cell C Sharks; prop)
Stravino Jacobs (Vodacom Blue Bulls; winger)
Cohen Jasper (Toyota Free State; fullback)
Dawid Kellerman (Vodacom Blue Bulls; centre)
JJ Kotze (DHL Western Province; hooker)
Richard Kriel (Vodacom Blue Bulls; fullback)
Thabiso Mdletshe (Cell C Sharks; prop)
Zwelendaba Mnombo (DHL Western Province; centre)
Lunga Ncube (Cell C Sharks; lock)
Evan Roos (Cell C Sharks; No 8)
Sibusiso Sangweni (Xerox Golden Lions; looseforward)
Zeilinga Strydom (Vodacom Blue Bulls; fullback)
Boitumelo Tsatsane (Xerox Golden Lions; centre)
Bernard van der Linde (Vodacom Blue Bulls; scrumhalf)
Cullen van der Merwe (Cell C Sharks; hooker)
Emile van Heerden (Cell C Sharks; lock)
Brendan Venter (DHL Western Province; centre)
Siba Xamlashe (DHL Western Province; fullback)
Issued by SA Rugby Communications