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Junior Springbok captain Paul de Villiers is eagerly anticipating his team’s third and final, must-win Pool C clash against Argentina in the 2023 World Rugby Under-20 Championship at Athlone Stadium on Tuesday (kick-off 19h00).

“We are well aware of what we need to do and that a bonus point win will take us into the semi-finals of the tournament, one of our objectives coming into the tournament,” De Villiers said as the squad completed their traditional captain’s run on Monday.

“The reality is that this is a must-win game for us, and we are only going to focus on the processes that we need to take us to that win. We know the win is a must and four tries a requirement, but rather than look for outcomes, we will focus on how to get to that outcome.”

Argentina have the best all-round set-piece – the lineout is ranked first (93.3 per cent) and they are one of only two teams with a 100 per cent scrum completion record, along with France. Los Pumitas have also made the most kicks in play (58), executed the most 50:22s (2) and made the most carries (237).

“They are a good side, in fact pretty much like Georgia and Italy when it comes to style of play, with all getting massive energy from their set piece and they love mauls and scrums. We coped with that in our opener against Georgia but did not do the same against Italy and we paid the price. Now we get another opportunity to right the wrongs and we are keen to embrace that.”

The captain said the change in weather, with the rainy conditions of the opening two rounds, subsiding somewhat will help them when they run onto the Athlone Stadium pitch.

“It was a bit frustrating, to be honest, I know how good this team is and that we can do, but we have been limited by the conditions,” he said. “Yes, all teams suffered because of that, but our backline is crying out for a decent surface where they can show their attacking abilities. I believe the best is to come and it will start against Argentina.”

South Africa’s Katlego Letebele and Jurenzo Julius, are the tournament’s top try scorers along with seven other players, having crossed for two tries in the first two rounds.

De Villiers is again hoping for good support from the locals: “Look, this is a new stadium for us, and we are looking to play there, knowing that the seating capacity will allow more people to come and watch and support us. We are playing for them after all.”


Played 5 – South Africa leads 3-2

Points for:

South Africa 180

Argentina 101 (avg. score 36-20 for South Africa)

Highest scores:

South Africa 72 (72-14 on 8 June, 2017)

Argentina 49 (49-19 on 25 June, 2016)

Biggest winning margin:

South Africa 58 (72-14 on 8 June, 2017)

Argentina 30 (49-19 on 25 June,


South Africa v Argentina

Venue: Athlone Stadium

Referee: Luc Ramos (France)

AR’s: Hollie Davidson (Scotland), Griffin Colby (South Africa)

TMO: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)

TV: SuperSport 211


Full match schedule for Tuesday 4 July

Danie Craven Stadium:

11h00: Italy v Georgia

13h30: Ireland v Fiji

16h00: New Zealand v Japan

Athlone Stadium:

14h00: Australia v England

16h30: France v Wales

19h00: South Africa v Argentina

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