Dawie Theron, the SA U20 coach, has made several changes and two positional switches for the team’s final match on Saturday evening (SA time) against Argentina Under-20 in Buenos Aires.
The young South Africans will be hoping to bounce back after suffering a 42-27 defeat in their second tour match on Tuesday evening in Corrientes. Last Saturday they opened their tour with a 26-3 victory over an Argentine U20 XV.
Dries Swanepoel of the Vodacom Blue Bulls moves from inside to outside centre, with 2012 Junior World Championship winner Handrè Pollard slotting into the No 12 jersey, a position where he has played for the majority of the Varsity Cup season for UP-Tuks.
Robert du Preez of KwaZulu-Natal will now start in the flyhalf position vacated by Pollard, alongside his provincial halfback Stefan Ungerer.
The only players who were retained from the starting line-up that played on Tuesday are: Jacques Rossouw (fullback, Vodacom Blue Bulls), Swanepoel, Pollard, Seabelo Senatla (leftwing, SARU contracted) and Irne Herbst (No 4 lock, Vodacom Blue Bulls).
Theron said the squad wants to end the tour on a winning note.
“From a tour momentum point of view, the result (on Tuesday) was certainly not ideal. To put things into perspective, we started off badly, conceding two tries in the first quarter. Also, captain sustained an injury and as a precaution, we decided to take him off.
“The slow start could well be as a result of wholesale changes to the starting team which, however, found their feet quite nicely closer to the end of the first half. We managed to score four tries between the 30th and 50th minutes of the match and really looked good.
"However we conceded 10 penalties in the last 17 minutes which dampened our momentum to build from those tries and we had a player yellow carded,” explained Theron.
He added: “Looking ahead to Saturday, we've been honest with the squad and told them we would reward the best players on tour with starts in the final match after giving 32 of the 33 players generous game time during the first two matches.
"Our squad will be announced next week and I am confident we are on the right track. We have invested lot of time, effort and resources into the identification and preparation of this group of players and all of them are highly motivated to give it a real crack on Saturday,” said Theron.
The SA Under-20 Training Squad starting line-up versus Argentina Under-20 in Buenos Aires:
15. Jacques Rossouw (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
14. JP Lewis (DHL Western Province)
13. Dries Swanepoel (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
12. Handrè Pollard (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
11. Seabelo Senatla (SARU contracted)
10. Robert du Preez (KZN)
9. Stefan Ungerer (KZN)
8. Aidon Davis (EP Kings)
7. Roelof Smit (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
6. Kwagga Smit (MTN Golden Lions)
5. Janus Kirsten (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
4. Irne Herbst (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
3. Marne Coetzee (KZN)
2. Jacques du Toit (Toyota FS Cheetahs)
1. Neethling Fouchè (Vodacom Blue Bulls, c)
The reserves will be confirmed after the Captain’s Run on Friday morning (Argentine time).