Grey High and EP leave biggest footprint in touring SA U20 rugby squad


Grey High School from Port Elizabeth contain the most Junior Springbok representatives in the 28-man squad, touring England in June for the Junior U20 Rugby Championship.

The South African U20 side will play their first match against Japan on June 7th, followed by Argentina on June 11th and then concluding their pool games against France on June 15th.

The four Grey High representatives are Jeremy Ward, Junior Pokomela, Curwin Bosch and Keanu Vers. In addition to their contribution in numbers, Grey High have the services of the Junior Boks Captain (Jeremy Ward) and Vice-Captain (Junior Pokomela) represented by the school. Ward lead the EP Kings U19 side to Currie Cup triumph in last year’s campaign.

Eastern Province as a whole, have six Junior Boks school representatives- with Tango Balekile (Selborne College) and Nicolaas Oosthuizen (Marlow Landbou) added to the tally.

The Golden Lions, as well as Western Province, also have six school representatives in the squad, with the Blue Bulls having four. South Western Districts and the Natal Sharks have two representatives apiece, with the Northern Cape and Zimbabwe having one each.

The aforementioned U20 Championship sees 12 countries, split into three groups of four, battle it out to advance to the Semi-Finals amidst their respective pools. The three first-placed sides in each pool will automatically qualify for the Semi-Finals berth, with the fourth team being the second wildcard place (the best second-placed side).

The entire tournament will be held in the AJ Bell Stadium (Salford) and the Academy Stadium (Manchester), England, respectively. South Africa are placed in Pool C, scheduled to play two in the Academy Stadium (Japan and France) and one in the AJ Bell Stadium (Argentina).

"I would encourage all rugby fans, old and new, to support the next generation of players at the World Rugby U20s Championship next June in Manchester" said Ian Ritchie, RFU Chief Executive Officer, in a statement.

"As we've seen in the Rugby World Cup, rugby worldwide is on the rise with more players, referees, coaches and supporters than ever before and the U20s Championship will only intensify that increase with yet more top class international sport on offer,” Ritchie added.  

Image: From left, Junior Pokomela (Vice-Captain), Jeremy Ward (Captain) and lock Ernst van Rhyn from Paarl Gymnasium, after the Junior Springboks squad announcement.