The SA Schools selectors have made wholesale changes for the team’s second outing in the Under-18 International Series against Wales at Outeniqua Park in George on Tuesday. Kick-off is at 17h00.
England and France play in the earlier match at 15h00 at the picturesque ground which, before last year, was home to the HSBC IRB Sevens World Series for over a decade.
Captain Pierre Schoeman (prop, Affies) is one of four forwards who were retained for the match, alongside towering lock JD Schickerling (Paarl Gym), Thabo Mabuza (Centurion) and Jano Venter (HTS Middelburg).
Strong inside centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Waterkloof) and right wing Sergeal Petersen (Grey PE) are the only two survivors in an otherwise new backline, which will also see local player Warrick Gelant (fullback, Outeniqua HS) wearing the Green and Gold in front of his home crowd.
According to SA Schools coach, Chris October, it was always on the cards to rotate the players for the second match. “The changes were always part of the plan but we are confident that we will have good combinations in those areas of change. We had a good few sessions since Friday’s match and the boys are looking forward to play at Outeniqua Park which is such a good venue.”
October added the team learnt several lessons against France Under-18 in Wellington and that they have worked hard in training in an effort to correct those errors.
“We missed several scoring opportunities because of a lack of cohesion and our sometimes unwillingness to be more patient at times when the situation demanded it. Our hard work on defence kept the French side at bay for most of the match, but we will have to be much more clinical in our execution and our decision making against Wales.
“The Welsh showed in the second half what they are capable of and they ran England very close on Friday. Their set-pieces are good and they are not afraid to use the width of the field when on the attack, so we will have to be very alert in our defensive approach,” added October.
The SA Schools team versus Wales Under-18 in George on Tuesday:
15. Warrick Gelant (Outeniqua HS)
14. Sergeal Petersen (Grey HS PE)
13. Jurie Linde (Affies)
12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Waterkloof, vice-captain)
11. Matjikinyane Molapo (Ben Vorster)
10. Ryno Eksteen (Affies)
9. Akhona Sihunu (Dale College)
8. Jano Venter (HTS Middelburg)
7. Daniël du Preez (Kearsney College)
6. Thabo Mabuza (Centurion)
5. JD Schickerling (Paarl Gym)
4. Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg (Affies)
3. Wilco Louw (HTS Drostdy)
2. Chad Solomon (Paul Roos)
1. Pierre Schoeman (Affies, captain)
16. Francois Esterhuizen (Overberg)
17. Dayan van der Westhuizen (Centurion)
18. Ox Nche (Louis Botha)
19. Abongile Nonkontwana (St Albans College)
20. Jean-Luc Du Preez (Kearsney College)
21. Justin Philips (Waterkloof)
22. Handré Pollard (Paarl Gym)
23. Jesse Kriel (Maritzburg College)