The Baby Boks have made three changes to the starting team that will play Argentina in the semi-finals of the IRB Junior Championship Newlands tonight.
Two of those were forced by injury – Both Jason Thomas (facial fracture) and Pat Howard (hamstring) have been ruled out of the tournament. Mark Pretorius takes over the hooker duties, while Tshotsho Mbovane replaces Howard on the left wing. Pretorius’ spot on the bench will be taken by newcomer Franco Marais and Raymond Rhule will wear Mbovane’s old number.
In the other change, Maks van Dyk moves from the bench and will start at tight head, swopping places with Oliver Kebble.
Fit-again flanker and regular captain Wiaan Liebenberg has been named on the bench in place of Khaya Majola and William Small-Smith will again captain the team from midfield.
“To lose two of your frontline players in one match is not easy, but we have a strong squad and I believe the new starters will also deliver. This is a massive occasion for us, as we can qualify for the final on home soil, something that was our aim from the start,” said coach Dawie Theron.
Argentina could not be underestimated however, he added: “They came through a very tough pool undefeated, so are clearly playing very good rugby,” he said. “They will ask questions on numerous aspects of our game and we will have to be very precise in our execution to get past them.
Team vs Argentina (Sunday 17 June 2012, kick-off 19h15):
15. Dillyn Leyds (Western Province)
14. Paul Jordaan (KZN)
13. William Small-Smith (Blue Bulls, captain)
12. Jan Serfontein (Blue Bulls)
11. Tshotsho Mbovane (Western Province)
10. Handrè Pollard (Western Province)
9. Vian van der Watt (Golden Lions)
8. Fabian Booysen (Golden Lions)
7. Pieter Steph du Toit (KZN)
6. Shaun Adendorff (Blue Bulls)
5. Ruan Botha (Golden Lions)
4. Paul Willemse (Golden Lions)
3. Maks van Dyk (KZN)
2. Mark Pretorius (Golden Lions)
1. Steven Kitshoff (Western Province)
16. Franco Marais (KZN)
17. Allan Dell (KZN)
18. Oliver Kebble (Western Province)
19. Braam Steyn (KZN)
20. Wiaan Liebenberg (Blue Bulls)
21. Abrie Griesel (Blue Bulls)
22. Tony Jantjies (Blue Bulls)
23. Raymond Rhule (Free State)