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Junior Springboks side to face Ireland in World Rugby U20 Championship named

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Friday Jul 7, 2023

World Rugby U20 Championship hosts South Africa have named an unchanged side for their upcoming semi-final match with Ireland.

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Head coach Bafana Nhleko has backed his side who defeated Argentina in round three to deliver once again.

Having come in for heavy criticism following their loss to Italy in round two, the Junior Boks showed their grit to come from behind to beat Los Pumas.

Nhleko was effusive in his praise for the Irish and confirmed that the threat the Six Nations champions posed filtered into his selection process.

“We wanted some consistency and continuity, and we are hoping that the good second-half effort against Argentina will spill over into the match against Ireland.

“We found our way in the second spell and hopefully, we can use that momentum against the Irish.

“It is tough if you are always behind the eight ball and chasing the game as we have been in our last two matches, so we believe by staying with the same group that came through against Argentina will stand us in good stead.

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“We know Ireland is an extremely consistent side – both in performance, selection and their style of play – and we did not want to tinker too much ourselves as we have found some of the same in the last match.”

WATCH: Epic Montage Of Future Star Jurenzo Julius

The two sides last met in a U20 Six Nations tournament in Verona Italy, with South Africa emerging victorious 33 – 24.

Despite this results Nhleko was quick to point out that it was a very different Junior Bok team that took to the pitch that day, saying “We have two or three players who played in that game, and they have at least two thirds of their squad that come to this tournament, so I don’t think there is much to see from that perspective,

“The fact that we beat them last year does not count for much. The occasion is different and so are our players. The reality this time around is that it is a knock-out game and whatever you do on the day, you just need to win.”

In full the South African team that will take to the field on Sunday at 4.30pm local time will be.

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15. Hakeem Kunene – 2 caps, 0 points
14. Jurenzo Julius – 3 caps, 10 points (2 tries)
13. Katlego Letebele (vice-captain) – 5 caps, 10 points (2 tries)
12. Ethan Hooker – 2 caps, 5 points (1 try)
11. Michael Annies – 3 caps, 0 points
10. Jean Smith – 2 caps, 27 points (6 conversions; 5 penalty goals)
9. Imad Khan – 6 caps, 11 points (1 try, 3 conversions)
8. Corné Beets – 2 caps, 10 points (2 tries)
7. Ghudian van Reenen – 3 caps, 0 points
6. Paul de Villiers (captain) – 7 caps, 0 points
5. JF van Heerden – 3 caps, 0 points
4. Coetzee le Roux – 2 caps, 0 points
3. Dian Heunis – 1 cap, 0 points
2. Juann Else – 4 caps, 10 points (2 tries)
1. Corné Lavagna – 5 caps, 0 points

Replacements:

16. SJ Kotze – 3 caps, 0 points
17. Phatu Ganyane – 3 caps, 0 points
18. Zachary Porthen – 3 caps, 0 points
19. Jannes Potgieter – 3 caps, 0 points
20. Abulele Ndabambi – 2 caps, 0 points
21. Asad Moos – 1 cap, 0 points
22. Damian Markus – 3 caps, 5 points (1 try)
23. Regan Izaks – 2 caps, 0 points

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