France U20 and Junior All Blacks Clash, Baby Boks Make Changes

France U20 and Junior All Blacks Clash, Baby Boks Make Changes

With matchday two set to get underway tomorrow, a mouthwatering clash between the most recent champions France and the tournaments most succesful team New Zealand, is set to get underway at Paarl Gymnasium in Paarl. 

Les Bleuets are ahead of New Zealand on points difference alone, though, after they emerged with all five match points despite being pushed all the way in their opener by Wales before winning 27-26.

France coach Sébastien Calvet has made four changes to the starting line-up that beat Japan, as prop Zaccharie Affane, second-row Posolo Tuilagi, flanker Oscar Jegou and winger Théo Attissogbe come in.

Calvet has also opted for a six-two split on the replacements’ bench, a decision he feels has been vindicated by the fact that rain is predicted in Paarl on Thursday. “New Zealand are a team we need to press, especially on the basics. This was obvious before the weather forecast, which confirmed our choice,” he said ahead of the match.

In the Junior Springbok camp, coach Bafana Nhleko responded to the close encounter they had against Georgia on opening day, by naming five uncapped players in his starting line-up. In total, Nhleko has made 10 changes to his team. Thursday’s encounter at Paarl Gymnasium Stadium (kick-off 16:00 GMT+2) will be the third time the nations have met at the U20 Championship, with South Africa winning each of those matches.

Italy coach Massimo Brunello has also drafted eleven players into his Azzurrini side following their 43-15 defeat to Argentina in the opening round. “The choices we made were calibrated by evaluating the length of the tournament and the closeness between one match and another,” Brunello said.

“A careful management of playing time is absolutely important, as it is the possibility of giving space to those players who normally have less. Ours is a balanced group, and as far as we're concerned, this is a strong XV, capable of facing such a team as South Africa, who showed a high potential against Georgia.”

Argentina take on Georgia at Danie Craven Stadium at 16:30 local time, in the second match in Pool C, and Los Pumitas coach Álvaro Galindo has not rested on his laurels.

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