Sharks under 19 lock forward Peet Marais will start for the South African under 20 side when they take on their Argentine counterparts in Vredenburg on Wednesday evening.
Marais, a product of Welkom Gimnasium in the Free State, couldn’t have a more impressive family pedigree – his older brother Jandre played for the Baby Boks in 2009, also at lock, and was a core member of last years Sharks under 21 and Sharks XV tight five. The 1.98m lock forward, who turns 20 in October, is one of three junior Sharks second rowers to represent their country this year.
Kene Okafor, a stalwart of the Baby Bok side having played at the IRB Junior World Championship in 2009, will be on the bench this time around. A natural leader, the Nigerian-born former Kearsney boy was the Sharks under 19 skipper last year and should probably be the front-runner to captain the under 21s once the ABSA Under 21 competition gets under way later this year. A third Shark, hooker Shaun Malton, has also made the bench. Malton is a Glenwood old boy – he captained their first XV in 2008 and played for SA Schools that year – and follows hot in the footsteps of another Glenwood hooker, Kyle Cooper, who is one step ahead in the pecking order. Coops made his Sharks XV debut on Friday in the 69-8 demolition of Border.
The Baby Bok side to face Argentina will be lead by Bulls loose forward CJ Stander, with promising Shimlas Varsity Cup player Francois du Toit in the flyhalf position.
SA U20: 15 Garth April, 14 Clayton Blommetjies, 13 Jaco Toute, 12 Ruan Combrink, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Francios du Toit, 9 Frederick Muller, 8 CJ Stander (captain), 7 Jean Cook, 6 Lean Schwartz, 5 Mlungisi Bali, 4 Peet Marais, 3 Marcell van der Merwe, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Wessel du Rand.
Replacements: 16 Shaun Malton, 17 Brummer Badenhorst, 18 Sebastian de Chaves, 19 Hendrick van der Waldt, 20 Helmut Lehmann, 21 Kenny Okafor, 22 Tiaan Dorfling, 23 Gary van Aswegen, 24 Justin van Staden.