The Eastern Province Kings take on the South African U-20 Rugby Side (Baby Boks) on Thursday 19 May at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Kick off is at 7:00 pm. Eastern Province will field an Academy side strengthened by Senior Team players.
The EP Academy side has been competitive in their last three matches with wins against; Blue Bulls Academy (16-11) and Sharks Midlands (57-5) and one loss to Sharks Academy (30-26).
The friendly match is the Baby Boks’ last chance for valuable match practice before they head to Italy for the U-20 World Cup.
The EP side will be coached by Academy Manager Robbie Kempson and assisted by EPRU U-19 Coach Qondakele Sompondo and Assistant Academy Manager Gareth Wright. Blind-side flank Siya Mangaliso, an Academy player with a rapidly rising stock will captain the side, assisted by Tiger Mangweni who will appear at the inside centre position.
Siya, a product of Grey High School (Please take note Chumani Bambani – Grey and NOT Queens!) is eager to assume the captaincy which, he says; “Will be a big challenge and honour to lead senior players”. Asked to comment on the tone of the match on Thursday Mangaliso, hinting at the EP U-20 players needing to show the selectors a thing or two said; “They say it is a friendly, but I doubt it will be!”
“For the EP Academy, this gives us a valuable opportunity to gauge ourselves against what are considered to be the best U-20 players in the country,” says Robbie Kempson.
The EP Academy was launched in 2011 in line with the new management at the EPRU. Its mission is to identify, develop and educate local talent in the region; thereby ensuring that a strong and sustainable talent base remains in the region.
“Progress has been exceptional to date for the Academy and its players. The guys have been training very well, including a match against the Senior Squad last week where many of the players were able to make an impact.”
Last year the score was 31-31 so it looks like this year’s game will be entertaining with lots of physicality and points.
The Game will take place at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Kick-off 7:00 pm, doors open at 5pm.
Tickets available at the gate for R30. Tickets available at the Imatu Building (Prince Alfred Rd). Stadium entrance Gate A/B. Seating in Main Stand only.
The EP 22 player squad to play the Baby Boks includes:
- Thabiso Mngomezulu
- Jaco Fourie
- Sphephelo Mayaba
- Thembelani Bholi
- Nolan Clark
- Siya Mangaliso(Captain)
- Heinrich Leonard
- acques Engelbrecht
- Marlon Lewis
- Coyi Banda
- Andile Witbooi
- Tiger Mangweni (Vice-Captain)
- Milo Nqoro
- Lulama Mdzoyi
- Justin Peach
- Werner Kapp
- Emile Klaasen
- Ashley Viviers
- Michael Aristidou
- Reynier van Rooyen
- Steven Hansel
- Scott van Breda
Coaches: Rob Kempson, Qondakele Sompondo and Gareth Wright.
The South Africa U20 Squad:
- Craig Barry (Western Province)
- Ulrich Beyers (Blue Bulls)
- Johan Goosen (Free State)
- Paul Jordaan (KwaZulu-Natal)
- Tshotsho Mbovane (Western Province)
- Wandile Mjekevu (Golden Lions)
- Pieter Rademan (Free State)
- Courtnall Skosan (Blue Bulls)
- Jaco Taute (Golden Lions)
- Francois Venter (Blue Bulls)
- Johan Welthagen (Leopards)
- Lohan Jacobs (Blue Bulls)
- Arno Botha (Blue Bulls) – captain
- Nizaam Carr (Western Province)
- Jean Cook (Free State)
- Cornell du Preez (Leopards)
- Eben Etzebeth (Western Province)
- John Roy Jenkinson (Leopards)
- Siyamthanda Kolisi (Western Province)
- Stephan Kotze (Free State)
- Francois Kleinhans (KwaZulu-Natal)
- Mbongeni Mbonambi (Blue Bulls)
- Nic Schonert (KwaZulu-Natal)
- Juan Schoeman (Blue Bulls)
- Michael van Vuuren (Free State)
- Ruan Venter (Golden Lions)
Frans Malherbe, Siyabonga Ntubeni, Carl Wegner and Tony Jantjies also attended the SA U20 camp from 9 to 10 May in Jeffreys Bay, and will be on stand-by during the IRB Junior World Championship which runs from Friday 10 June to Sunday 26 June in Italy.
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