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Roux reshuffles Junior Boks for semi-final
June 11, 2018
David Coetzer, Phendulani Buthelezi, Tiaan van der Merwe and Alulutho Tshakweni will earn their first starts for the Junior Springboks in Tuesday’s World Rugby U20 Championship semi-final against England.

The quartet’s inclusion in the starting 15 count among six changes made by Chean Roux to the run-on team, with Rikus Pretorius also back from injury.

Van der Merwe and Tshakweni, both of whom scored tries in the pool match against France, will also start in a new-look front row with tighthead prop Sazi Sandi.

Coetzer and Buthelezi joined the squad in the south of France last week as injury replacements. Coetzer made his World Rugby U20 Championship debut against France off the bench, and Buthelezi will play his first match in the tournament. The loose forward is no stranger to international rugby after featuring in the all of the SAU20 warm-up matches in the lead-up to the international showpiece.

The other change to the team was at inside centre, where Pretorius returns after recovering from the ankle injury he suffered in the opening match against Georgia. He will partner up with Manuel Rass in the midfield.

The Junior Boks’ bench will also feature two tournament debutantes, as prop Leon Lyons – who joined the team on Saturday in place of the injured Nathan McBeth – and scrumhalf Jack Hart, have been drafted in among the replacements.

“There was an injury and another recovering from injury, while we also opted to bring on fresh legs,” said Roux, who is expecting a massive onslaught from England, the top team after the pool stages.

“We think this is a very good side, and we are looking forward to the game.

“England are a very physical and well-coached side. Their set pieces are very good and they have two brilliant wingers, so we need to counter that.”

Roux’s charges worked hard at training this week to deliver a quality performance, and he believed that if they played to their potential, they had the goods to advance to the final.

“The important thing is not to get ahead of ourselves, but rather to approach it one minute at a time,” said Roux.

“Our defence and set pieces have to be solid, and we need to keep the pressure on for the full 80 minutes. If we can do that, we should be there at the end.”

The match, which will be played at Stade d’Honneur du Parc des Sports et de l'Amitié, will kick off at 19h00 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport 1.

Junior Springbok team to face England:
15 – Gianni Lombard (Xerox Golden Lions)
14 – Tyrone Green (Xerox Golden Lions)
13 – Manuel Rass (Xerox Golden Lions)
12 – Rikus Pretorius (DHL Western Province)
11 – Wandisile Simelane (Xerox Golden Lions)
10 – David Coetzer (DHL Western Province)
9 – Zak Burger (Cell C Sharks)
8 – Muller Uys (DHL Western Province)
7 – PJ Steenkamp (Xerox Golden Lions)
6 – Phendulani Buthelezi (Cell C Sharks)
5 – Ruan Nortje (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
4 – Salmaan Moerat (captain - DHL Western Province)
3 – Sazi Sandi (DHL Western Province)
2 – Tiaan van der Merwe (Xerox Golden Lions)
1 – Alulutho Tshakweni (Eastern Province)
Replacements:
16 – Schalk Erasmus (DHL Western Province)
17 – Leon Lyons (DHL Western Province)
18 – Asenathi Ntlabakanye (Xerox Golden Lions)
19 – Ben-Jason Dixon (DHL Western Province)
20 – Dian Schoonees (Xerox Golden Lions)
21 – Jack Hart (Xerox Golden Lions)
22 – Lubabalo Dobela (Toyota Free State)
23 – Sihle Njezula (DHL Western Province)

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