Australia and South Africa name their teams for Round 2 of TRC U20.


JF van Heerden will captain a Junior Springbok side showing several changes when they take on Australia in the second round of the Under-20 Rugby Championship at the Sunshine Coast Stadium in Bokarina, Queensland on Tuesday.

Van Heerden takes over the captaincy from Zachary Porthen, who has been ruled out of contention for this match due to a hand injury he sustained in the 13-13 draw against New Zealand last week. 

SA U20 head coach Bafana Nhleko announced a starting line-up showing nine changes and a positional switch, while there are a further six tweaks amongst the replacements from the match 23 that did duty against the Kiwis.

Van Heerden, who came off the bench against NZ, starts the match as skipper next to Bathobele Hlekani, who was at flanker last week, in a new-look second row. Divan Fuller and Keanu Coetsee will start on the side of the scrum alongside Tiaan Jacobs, who gets a second start at No 8.

The absence of Porthen means the South Africans will field a new-look front row consisting of props Mbasa Maqubela and Reno Hirst, with Ethan Bester starting at hooker.

Asad Moos retains the scrumhalf jersey, but he will have a new halfback partner in Thurlon Williams, who replaces flyhalf Tylor Sefoor, with the latter not in the match 23 as precaution for a slight knock on the knee.

Other changes amongst the backs see first starts for Philip-Albert van Niekerk at inside centre and Joshua Boulle on the right wing, with Litelihle Bester (left wing), Jurenzo Julius (outside centre) and Michail Damon (fullback) all in line for a second start.

Nhleko said the changes were due to the demanding match schedule, and the with the development of the squad in mind.

“Three competitive games in 12 days mean that load management will play an important part in our team processes and player management,” said Nhleko.

“Also, this tour is very much about us continuing to grow as a team and part of the planning was to give the whole group playing minutes and experience in a very competitive series.”

According to Nhleko, his team will have to show improvement from their opening match against an Australian side who will be determined to bounce back from their first-round disappointment.

“They would feel that they perhaps didn’t get the reward for their efforts against an Argentine side that were clinical on the day, so they would want to rectify that against us, and we must be ready to meet that challenge,” he said. 

“It seems we are in for more rain on match day, but we would like to build pressure with the ball and to get our attack systems going, for that to happen, we must improve in looking after the ball.

“The review and lessons against New Zealand last week, must show in the Australia game, meaning we have to be better with our game management, tactical awareness and also our execution to gain more reward for the opportunities we create.”

Junior Springbok squad to play Australia:

15 Michail Damon
14 Joshua Boulle
13 Jurenzo Julius (vice-captain)
12 Philip-Albert van Niekerk
11 Litelihle Bester
10 Thurlon Williams
9 Asad Moos
8 Tiaan Jacobs
7 Keanu Coetsee
6 Divan Fuller
5 JF van Heerden (captain)
4 Bathobele Hlekani
3 Reno Hirst
2 Ethan Bester
1 Mbasa Maqubela

Replacements: 16 CJ Erasmus, 17 Liyema Ntshanga, 18 Casper Badenhorst, 19 Adam de Waal, 20 Thabang Mphafi, 21 Hassiem Pead , 22 Bruce Sherwood, 23 JC Mars


Nathan Grey has named his 23-man Australia U20 playing squad to face South Africa in Tuesday night's TRC U20 clash.

10 changes have been made from the starting side that ran out against Argentina while six players will make their first appearance of the tournament.

Captain Toby Macpherson and vice-captain Ronan Leahy reprise their starting roles at lock and inside centre following strong showings against Argentina.

Jack Barrett again lines up at loosehead prop while Ottavio Tuipulotu and Nick Bloomfield will make their first starts of the tournament at hooker and tighthead prop respectively.

Illawarra junior Ollie McCrea partners Macpherson in a new second row partnership with West Australian Dane Sawers also making his first appearance of TRC U20 at openside flanker.

In the backline, halves pairing Hwi Sharples and Cullen Gray have been handed the starting reins with Doug Philipson and Joey Fowler entrusted as finishers.

Queenslander Frankie Goldsbrough will line up outside Leahy in the centres while Force flyer Kauri Tipene-Grace also makes his TRC U20 debut in a back three featuring Angus Staniforth and Shane Wilcox.

Brumbies prop Lington Ieli and Rebels flyer Divad Palu are new additions to a finishing unit featuring Bryn Edwards, Tevita Alatini, Harvey Cordukes, and Joe Liddy.

“Squad rotation is crucial given the short turnaround between games and we're excited to see this new group of players in action,” Grey said.

“The loss against Argentina was an excellent test for our squad in trying conditions.

"We've gone away and worked on what we need to put our best foot forward against South Africa on Tuesday."

Australia will face South Africa on Tuesday 7 May at Sunshine Coast Stadium (7pm kick off).

Australia Under 20 squad to play South Africa

1. Jack Barrett
2. Otavio Tuipulotu
3. Nick Bloomfield
4. Toby Macpherson [c]
5. Oliver McRea
6. Ben Di Staso
7. Dan Sawers
8. Jack Harley
9. Hwi Sharples
10. Cullen Gray
11. Angus Staniforth
12. Ronan Leahy [vc]
13. Frankie Goldsbrough
14. Kauri Tipene-Grace
15. Shane Wilcox

Replacements: 16. Lington Ieli, 17. Bryn Edwards, 18. Tevita Alatini, 19. Harvey Cordukes, 20. Joe Liddy, 21. Doug Philipson, 22. Joey Fowler, 23. David Palu.