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Thu Apr 24 18:45:29 SAST 2014

Big guys in Baby Boks

CRAIG RAY | 20 June, 2012 07:270 Comments
Jan Serfontein shows what he's made of during the U/20 Junior World Championship semifinal between South Africa and Argentina at Newlands on Sunday
Image by: CARL FOURIE / GALLO IMAGES

WITH the Baby Boks into the World Championship final for the first time, where they will meet New Zealand at Newlands, it's a chance to assess which players could go on to play for the senior Springboks.

Jan Serfontein (centre, Bulls)

He is general of the backline, the attacking heartbeat and defensive organiser.

Hailing from Grey College in Bloemfontein, Serfontein is in line for the player of the tournament accolade after a string of eye-catching performances.

He tackles ferociously but also with guile, often attacking the ball and ripping it away.

He scored a fine try in the semifinal against Argentina and set up skipper William Small-Smith for an excellent try with a deft pass in their crucial pool match against England.

Serfontein simply oozes class in everything he does.

Handre Pollard (flyhalf, WP)

The 18-year-old is still at school at Paarl Gym and was not originally a member of the squad.

But he was a late addition and the injury to Tony Jantjies gave him his chance in game two against Italy.

He controlled the match, played in atrocious conditions, with calm authority and was again influential in the 28-15 win over England.

Pollard has a huge boot, excellent handling and passing skills and has a massive physical presence at 1.93m tall and weighing 97kg.

Pieter Steph du Toit (lock-flank, Sharks)

He's already played Super Rugby at lock, but after two brilliant outings at blindside flank he might have found his future position.

Immensely mobile for a big man, he reminds you of a young Juan Smith, who also played lock for the South African under-21s in 2002.

Du Toit is as tough as they come and his try against England, when he handed off 120kg lock George Merrick as if he were a primary schoolboy, was a great moment. He is a very good line-out operator and has a high work rate.

Paul Willemse (lock, Lions)

The Lions might be struggling at senior level but at the under-20 level they have a few gems, and the former Monument High pupil is set for great things.

As a lock he has the height and weight (2m and 127kg) required to mix it with the best, but he also has good athletic gifts and a high work rate in the loose.

In the tight exchanges he is as strong as an ox and at 19 he can only build on the experience of this tournament and his one Super Rugby appearance earlier in the year.

Shaun Adendorff (flank, Bulls)

The former Glenwood High graduate has been honing his skills at the Blue Bulls and seems certain to make his Super Rugby debut sooner rather than later.

He is the perfect foil for Du Toit's height in the back row as he is a more traditional openside at 1.85m tall and 98kg.

Adendorff is a wonderful athlete who tackles hard, anticipates play with amazing intuition and scraps for the ball on the deck as if his life depends on it. He is all power and energy.

Steven Kitshoff (prop, WP)

The ginger prop has already established himself as one of the best looseheads in the Super 15 with his powerful scrumming and strong work in the loose.

At 20 he also has immense experience at a high level, having already earned 18 Super Rugby caps for the Stormers, and it probably won't be too long before the former Paul Roos pupil is being fitted for a full test cap.

He has already caught the eye of Bok coach Heyneke Meyer, who invited him to a Springbok training camp earlier this year.

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