Heinz Schenk
2 minute read
30 May 2017
3:11 pm

Look out for these 5 Junior Springbok stars

Heinz Schenk

Chean Roux's youngsters begin their Under-20 World Championship on Wednesday. Here are just a few of the men destined for great things.

Junior Springbok flyhalf Damian Willemse has already made his Super Rugby debut. Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images.

South Africa boasts a powerful and experienced squad that will compete in this year’s Under-20 World Championship in Georgia.

The Junior Springboks begin their campaign against France on Wednesday afternoon.

There are eight survivors from last year’s tournament and various members have already made their mark in Super Rugby and in the World Sevens Series.

Here are five stars to look out for over the next two weeks.

CURWIN BOSCH

Position: Flyhalf/Fullback

Union: Sharks

The broader South African rugby public is already well aware of this gifted playmaker.

Bosch has been a massive influence in the Sharks’ revival this year and showed maturity beyond his 19 years by seamlessly shifting between flyhalf and fullback.

He’s also been South Africa’s best goalkicker in the tournament and surely will be a cut above the rest at this level.

ZAIN DAVIDS

Position: Flanker

Union: Western Province

He’s barely taller than the Lions’ Kwagga Smith but Davids is expected to show the same amount of energy as his teammate at the Blitzboks.

It’s unlikely that he’ll be used as a big ball-carrier – he doesn’t have the size for that – yet it’s quite conceivable that the Capetonian could become as busy as, say, Jaco Kriel.

Davids is extremely fit and is used to hard work given that he’s a Blitzbok already.

YAW PENXE

Position: Wing

Union: Eastern Province Kings

Penxe forms part of the Kings’ collection of “pocket rockets” in this year’s Super Rugby campaign.

He’s already shown his try-scoring ability at that competitive level of play and is an underrated defender.

Granted a bit of freedom, Penxe could be a star in Georgia.

ERNST VAN RHYN

Position: Flanker

Union: Western Province

Already singled out for his leadership ability, the Junior Boks’ skipper in this tournament is more evidence that South African rugby keeps churning out excellent loose fowards.

Van Rhyn – at 1.91m and 104kg – is big enough to play at the highest level and will surely graduate to senior rugby next season.

He’s a skillful ball-carrier and a surprisingly decent option in the line-outs.

DAMIAN WILLEMSE

Position: Flyhalf/Centre

Union: Western Province

This brilliant talent caught the eye so early that some administrators were fearful last year that an overseas club would sign him out of school.

Thankfully, Willemse stayed and has already singled himself out as a player with amazing spacial awareness.

That’s a skill not many youngsters possess readily.

Willemse has already made his Super Rugby debut for the Stormers too.

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