Speaking in the aftermath of flyhalf Johan Goosen’s unfortunate injury this weekend, SA Under 20 head coach Dawie Theron appears confident that his side can still be competitive in next month’s IRb Junior World Championship.
Goosen, who has shown the sort of form in his maiden Super Rugby season that has many pundits clamouring for his immediate inclusion in the senior Springbok side, was expected to be a tournament-winner for the juniors this year and while Theron would never openly admit it, I’m quite sure he would view the 19-year-old’s unavailability as a body blow to his side’s chances.
Theron has pointed out a number of flyhalf options still available to him, with Bulls pivot Tony Jantjies now lined up to step into the starting fifteen. Jantjies has, to be fair, played there in all of the warm-up games to date whilst Goosen has been on Super Rugby duty and will be familiar with the pattern and calls; more so, in fact, than Goosen would have been.
Looking to the wider squad, both Lions player Marais Schmidt and Sharks boy Paul Jordaan are comfortable in the number 10 jersey, despite being picked as outside backs in the squad.
The only youngster not currently in the squad who was singled out for a mention was Sharks XV flyhalf Fred Zeilinga, a good indication that the Glenwood old boy may be in line for a late call-up to the squad as replacement for Goosen. Zeilinga would be a good addition to the side – he has plenty of Vodacom Cup experience and is in good form at the moment. Furthermore, he’s equally adept at scrumhalf and could offer additional cover in that position too.Tweet