The Schools selectors have retained only three players and made a further two positional changes for the team’s second outing of the 2014 Under-18 International Series against Wales on Tuesday, 19 August in George.
The SA Schools outplayed France 28 – 13 while England managed to secure a last gap 24-21 victory over Wales in the earlier match. The other teams taking part in the annual junior international series are England, France and Italy.
The opening fixtures took placed last Friday 15 August at City Park in Cape Town and the action now moves to Outeniqua Park in George before the final matches at Paul Roos Markötter Stadium in Stellenbosch on Saturday, 23 August.
The three players who will start in their second match are right wing Andell Loubser, inside centre JT Jackson and lock Eduard Zandberg. Amongst the backs, Barend Smit moves from outside centre to fullback while Edmond Rheeder will now wear the number eight jersey after playing No 6 flank against France.
Smit, who captained Pumas at the Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, will lead the SA Schools selection in the injury enforced absence of Jaco Coetzee. The Glenwood number eight has an ankle injury.
Meanwhile two replacements were drafted after two players were withdrawn because of injury. Mornè Joubert (hamstring) is replaced by Heino Bezuidenhout (Eastern Province) while the place of Michael Kumbirai (broken ankle) will be filled by Kenneth van Niekerk (KwaZulu-Natal).
In naming his match 23 against Wales, Hein Kriek, the SA Schools coach, said that the plan was always to shuffle the team for the second match.
“With three matches to play just a few days apart from each other, we have to plan very carefully, especially with a very tough last match against England in mind.
“For now though, our focus are 100 percent on Wales, who will bring a huge physical presence to the match on Tuesday. They are a solid unit and have a good set piece, so there is no doubt we will have to be up for the challenge up front. Wales played outstanding at times against England and they came very close to a win, so we will have to be well prepared for them,” said Kriek.
The SA Schools coach said he was pleased with the team’s performance against France in the opening match last Friday at City Park. However, he cautioned they will have to improve on their set pieces to combat a lively Wales pack.
“We did well in the lineouts but we have worked hard on our set pieces and also our defence. Our players applied their skill on attack and we managed to make good use of our attacking opportunities. However, we worked very hard on our defensive pattern and mindset and that’s the area we want to target for improvement in our second match in George,” added the SA Schools coach.
The SA Schools team, which is sponsored by Coca-Cola, is unbeaten in their Series matches for the past four years.
The SA Schools team vs Wales on Tuesday, 19 August in George:
15. Barend Smit (Middelburg HTS, Pumas) – captain
14. Andell Loubser (Menlopark, Blue Bulls)
13. Heino Bezuidenhout (Daniel Pienaar HTS, EP)
12. JT Jackson (Oakdale Landbou, SWD)
11. Keanu Vers (Grey High, Eastern Province)
10. Thinus de Beer (Waterkloof High, Blue Bulls)
9. Embrose Papier (Garsfontein High, Blue Bulls)
8. Edmund Rheeder (Klerksdorp High, Leopards)
7. Cobus Wiese (Upington HS, Griquas Country Districts)
6. Arnold Gerber (Menlopark, Blue Bulls)
5. Eduard Zandberg (Outeniqua High, SWD)
4. Ashton Fortuin (Southdown College, Blue Bulls)
3. Sarel-Marco Smit (Eldoraigne High, Blue Bulls)
2. Le Roux Baard (Outeniqua High, SWD)
1. Lupumlo Mguca (Daniel Pienaar HTS, Eastern Province)
16. Jan-Henning Campher (Garsfontein High, Blue Bulls)
17. Ngonidzashe Chidoma (Northwood, KwaZulu-Natal)
18. Ignatius Prinsloo (Grey College, Free State)
19. Junior Pokomela (Grey High, Eastern Province)
20. Victor Maruping (Louis Botha HTS, Free State)
21. Marko Janse van Vuuren (Transvalia High, Valke)
22. Curwin Bosch (Grey High, Eastern Province)
23. Nazo Nkala (Welkom Gimnasium, Griffons)
The remaining SARU 2014 Under-18 International Series fixtures are:
Tuesday 19 August 2014 – Outeniqua Park, George (all matches live on SS8)
14h00 Italy vs SWD Coca-Cola Craven Week XV
15h45 England vs France
17h30 SA vs Wales
Saturday 23 August 2014 – Paul Roos Markötter Stadium, Stellenbosch
12h00 Italy vs SARU Regional Academy XV
14h00 France vs Wales
16h00 SA vs England