The second round of the highly entertaining SA Rugby Under-18 International Series kicks off at Paarl Gymnasium in Paarl on Tuesday afternoon, when the SA Schools A side will take on Wales, the SA Schools team face Argentina and in the final match of the day, England and France will meet.
The SA Schools A side were outplayed by France on Friday, when the U18 International Series kicked off at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch, while the SA Schools side outplayed Wales, so the opening clash will match two sides desperate for a win.
The match between SA Schools and Argentina will be tightly contested. Los Pumitas, in their first appearance at the tournament, impressed with their overall ability in beating England on Friday, while the SA Schools team will be buoyant after a strong second half that pushed them past Wales at the Markötter Sports Fields, with heavy underfoot conditions prevailing.
France impressed with their backline’s ability to create space, even with muddy underfoot conditions, and will fancy their chances against England, who will be more streamlined with a game under the belt.
Nkosi wants SA Schools’ attack to improve
SA Schools coach Mzwakhe Nkosi said their attack will have to improve from last time out if they want to get past the Argentineans.
“Our defence was good against Wales, but if we want to be a threat to Argentina, our attack will have to improve,” said Nkosi.
“We do have some confidence after the win on Friday and taking that into tomorrow's fixture will help the team.”
Nkosi made four changes to the run-on side, with Mntungwa Mapantsela (wing), Dylan Alexander (scrumhalf), Siyemukela Ndlovu (flank) and Connor Evans (lock) all starting the match this time around.
On the team selection for this match, Nkosi said: “We looked at rotating the squad a bit, as there is a developmental side to the tournament as well for us, so we want to see all our guys and test them against international competition.”
The Argentina side impressed against England, and Nkosi said their set-piece is exemplary: “Their scrum and line-out are first class. They are also very direct and have a couple of big boys there, so we will have to stand our man.”
The SA Schools team to play Argentina:
15. Zeilinga Strydom (Assupol Blue Bulls / Garsfontein)
14. Mntungwa Mapantsela (Border / Selborne College)
13. Henco van Wyk (Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions / Monument)
12. Tyler Bocks (DHL Western Province / Paarl Boys High)
11. Tharquinn Manuel (DHL Western Province / Stellenberg)
10. Kian Meadon (DHL Western Province / Paarl Boys High)
9. Dylan Alexander (DHL Western Province / Paarl Gymnasium)
8. George Cronje (Bizhub Free State Cheetahs / Grey College)
7. Jarrod Taylor (Border / Selborne College)
6. Siyemukela Ndlovu (Cell C Sharks / Northwood)
5. Dylan de Leeuw (DHL Western Province / Paul Roos Gymnasium)
4. Connor Evans (DHL Western Province / Bishops)
3. Sibusiso Shongwe (Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions / Jeppe)
2. Jacques Goosen (captain – Border / Selborne College)
1. Jan-Hendrik Wessels (Bizhub Free State Cheetahs / Grey College)
16. Andre-Hugo Venter (Bizhub Free State Cheetahs / Grey College)
17. Okuhle Siyeni (Cell C Sharks / Westville Boys High)
18. Blaine Golden (Cell C Sharks / Glenwood)
19. Wandile Hlope (Cell C Sharks / Maritzburg College)
20. Keketso Morabe (Thepa Trading Griffons / Welkom Gymnasium)
21. Keane Galant (Boland / HTS Drostdy)
22. Boldwin Hansen (Boland / Hermanus)
23. Jurich Claasens (Assupol Blue Bulls / Garsfontein)
24. Quan Horn (Western Province / Paarl Boys High)
25. Gideon van Wyk (DHL Western Province / Paarl Boys High)
26. Simon Miller (Assupol Blue Bulls / St Albans)
SA Schools A call up three players
The SA Schools A team have welcomed Tiaan Pretorius (Paul Roos Gymnasium), Austin “AJ” Johnson (Garsfontein) and Lukanya “Boepa” Vokozela (Rondebosch) in their ranks this weekend. They replaced Quan Horn (promoted to SA Schools) and the injured duo of Jacques-Louis du Toit and Jordan Hendrikse.
Vokozela hails from Khayalitsha and started playing rugby with the Connect Academy. His talents were soon spotted and an invitation to join Rondebosch Boys’ High School followed. He represented DHL Western Province at Under-16 and Under-18 levels.
Pretorius already played for South Africa at youth level, having represented Team South Africa at the World Youth Olympics in Argentina last year where he was one of the stand-outs in the Rugby Sevens squad.
The energetic outside back, who missed the Craven Week due to concussion but will join the SA Rugby Sevens Academy next year, boasts a notable rugby pedigree. His dad, Torros Pretorius, was a regular for the Phakisa Pumas in his playing days and Springbok flank Kwagga Smith is his uncle.
Johnson, a very strong ball carrier and specialist inside centre, hails from Rustenburg, but played for DHL Western Province at Under-16 level after his parents moved to Cape Town. He then relocated to Garsfontein High School in Pretoria, where the hard-running midfielder is a popular and influential team member of the 'Garsie Bere', as the first team is known.
According to SA Schools A coach Phiwe Nomlomo, they are looking at improving in a number of areas.
“The guys learned a lot from Friday and although the turn-around was short, we have a better idea of what to expect,” said Nomlomo.
“Our defence was poor, so Wales will try to keep the ball and test that. They have a good kicking game as well, so we will be tested in that aspect of play as well. I believe we will do well if we go out and apply ourselves.”
The SA Schools A side to play Wales:
15. Jacques Rossouw (DHL Western Province / Paarl Boys High)
14. Sonwabo Sokoyi (Bizhub Free State Cheetahs / Grey College)
13. Tiaan Pretorius (DHL Western Province / Paul Roos Gymnasium)
12. AJ Johnson (Assupol Blue Bulls / Garsfontein)
11. Sibusiso Javu (Border / Selborne College)
10. Sihlalo Benge (Border / Queens College)
9. Kabelo Mokheti (Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions / Jeppe)
8. Jarod Cairns (captain – DHL Western Province / Paul Roos Gymnasium)
7. Izan Esterhuizen (Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions / Monument)
6. Pierich Siebert (DHL Western Province / Paarl Gymnasium)
5. Corne Rahl (South Western Districts / Oakdale)
4. Raynard Roets (Assupol Blue Bulls / Garsfontein)
3. Philip Masango (DHL Western Province / Wynberg)
2. Teague Loelly (Cell C Sharks / Westville)
1. Dima Lebelo (Assupol Blue Bulls / Waterkloof)
16. Lukhanyo Vokozela (DHL Western Province / Rondebosch)
17. Rynhardt Rijnsburger (DHL Western Province / Paarl Boys High)
18. Gerhard van der Merwe (Assupol Blue Bulls / Garsfontein)
19. Marco van Rhyn (DHL Western Province / Paarl Gymnasium)
20. Sisonke Vumazonke (Bizhub Free State Cheetahs / Grey College)
21. Daimon O’Connell (Border / Selborne College)
22. Joseph Iye (Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions / KES)
23. Indiphile Tyeda (Border / Dale College)
24. Renzo du Plessis (Unitrans Limpopo Blue Bulls / Ben Vorster)
25. Josh van Vreden (Border / Selborne College)
26. Nsuku Baloyi (Assupol Blue Bulls / Menlo Park)
The fixtures for Tuesday 13 August 2019, Paarl Gymnasium, Paarl:
SA Schools A vs Wales
Referee: Paul Mente (SA Rugby)
SA Schools vs Argentina
Referee: Manuel Bottino (Italy)
England vs France
Referee: Griffin Colby (SA Rugby)
Issued by SA Rugby Communications