Junior Springboks coach Dawie Theron made three changes to his starting team that will play Argentina in the semifinals of the IRB Junior Championship 2012 at DHL Newlands Rugby Stadium on Sunday.
Two of those were forced by injury, while the third is a tactical change. Both Jason Thomas (facial fracture) and Pat Howard (hamstring) started against England on Tuesday, but have since been ruled out of the tournament and replaced in the squad.
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,” Theron said.
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 (Vodacom Blue Bulls, captain)
12. Jan Serfontein (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
11. Tshotsho Mbovane (DHL Western Province)
10. Handrè Pollard (DHL Western Province)
9. Vian van der Watt (MTN Golden Lions)
8. Fabian Booysen (MTN Golden Lions)
7. Pieter Steph du Toit (KZN)
6. Shaun Adendorff (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
5. Ruan Botha (MTN Golden Lions)
4. Paul Willemse (MTN Golden Lions)
3. Maks van Dyk (KZN)
2. Mark Pretorius (MTN Golden Lions)
1. Steven Kitshoff (DHL Western Province)
16. Franco Marais (KZN)
17. Allan Dell (KZN)
18. Oliver Kebble (DHL Western Province)
19. Braam Steyn (KZN)
20. Wiaan Liebenberg (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
21. Abrie Griesel (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
22. Tony Jantjies (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
23. Raymond Rhule (Toyota Free State)