South Africa Under-20 coach, Dawie Theron, kicked off his preparations for the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship when he explained his training and planning schedule to a large group of selected players in Johannesburg on Thursday.
The Junior Springbok coach was accompanied by members of the SARU Development department and the SARU Mobi-Unit during his visit where he presented the preparation plan for the 2014 JWC tournament. The event will be hosted by New Zealand for the first time from June 2 to 20 in Auckland.
Players from the Golden Lions, Vodacom Blue Bulls, Platinum Leopards, Toyota Free State Cheetahs, EP Kings and The Cell C Sharks attended the session.
The group will hold a similar one-day camp next Thursday in Stellenbosch for the DHL Western Province-based players.
Theron has already confirmed three training camps for the identified players, which will include a series of trial matches at Stellenbosch and a three-match series against Argentina U20 in Cape Town.
Speaking after the get together on Thursday, Theron said he was satisfied with the outcome of the exercise in Johannesburg.
“This was the first time that, in the build up to the JWC tournament, we hosted all the SA Under-20 hopefuls in one location to share with them our objectives for the tournament,” said Theron.
“Next week we will make the same presentation to the Western Province-based players. On conclusion of that meeting, we would then have shared our vision for the SA U20 team to the large group of players who were selected to join our training camps, said Theron.
The Junior Springbok coach said he was excited by the enthusiasm of the players when he met them before the presentation on Thursday.
“I am really pleased and excited by what I’ve seen from the players. They were very good in their interaction with our representatives who delivered their respective presentations. For me it is an exciting prospect that all of them are so enthusiastic and have a huge desire be part of our SA Under-20 brand and to play international rugby.
“We’ve made it clear to them that we will use our structures to monitor their progress closely from now until next the camp in Stellenbosch, which will also serve as our trials. Each one of them will be loaded onto our Footprint monitoring system, and we will interact with them on a regular basis going forward,” explained Theron.
South Africa took bronze in last year’s JWC in France, and won the title for the first time in 2012 before a tournament-record crowd at Newlands.