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Baby Boks ready for massive English onslaught

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“The important thing is not to get ahead of ourselves, but rather to approach it one minute at a time”

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Solid defence, a solid set-piece and sustained pressure – those aspects are key to overcoming England in the semi-final of the World Rugby Under-20 Championship today (kick-off 7pm), according to Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux (pictured).

The Junior Boks will head into the play-off clash after suffering a 46-29 defeat to hosts France in their third and final pool match, while the English have secured bonus-point victories in all three of their group-stage games.

And now Roux just wants his team to take it “one minute at a time” and apply pressure for 80 minutes – something they haven’t been able to get right thus far.

“The important thing is not to get ahead of ourselves, but rather to approach it one minute at a time,” said Roux.

“Our defence has to be solid and so do our set pieces, and we need to keep the pressure on for the full 80 minutes. If we can do that, we should be there at the end.”

Roux also said that he’s expecting a massive onslaught from England, and said: “England are a very physical and well-coached side. Their set pieces are very good and they have two brilliant wingers, so we need to counter that.”

The Junior Bok coach has made six changes to the side that faced France.

Springbok flyhalf David Coetzer and flanker Phendulani Buthelezi, as well as hooker Tiaan van der Merwe and prop Alulutho Tshakweni, will get their first tournament starts. The other change is at inside centre where Rikus Pretorius returns after recovering from the ankle injury, and he will partner up with Manuel Rass in midfield.

Junior Springboks Starting XV: Gianni Lombard, Tyrone Green, Manuel Rass, Rikus Pretorius, Wandisile Simelane, David Coetzer, Zak Burger, Muller Uys, PJ Steenkamp, Phendulani Buthelezi, Ruan Nortjé, Salmaan Moerat (c), Sazi Sandi, Tiaan van der Merwe, Alulutho Tshakweni