All six matches have been scheduled to take place at Paarl Gymnasium, with the action to kick off on Friday 19 August. The second round will be on Tuesday 23 August and the action will conclude on Saturday 27 August.

Junior Springbok head and assistant coaches Bafana Nhleko and Chean Roux will be supporting the coaching staff of the two teams, while the two SA Schools coaches, Kathleho Lynch and Cobus van Dyk, will be in charge of the two teams.

“These matches form a crucial part of our Elite Player Development (EPD) pathway for our age-group players, run by Herman Masimla and Nico Serfontein, which is why the selectors not only considered players from this year’s U18 Craven Week, but also some who were in the SA U18 team due to tour Georgia last year, a trip which was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19,” said Rassie Erasmus, Director of Rugby.

“We spread the net very wide and considered at all the players who are still U18, even some who have finished their schooling, or who were injured earlier in the season. The EPD programmes were designed exactly for this reason – to ensure players who may have missed a big occasion such as the Craven Week do not fall through the cracks.

“The pandemic caused some disruptions to our EPD programmes and to have these boys back on the rugby field, playing in green and gold, is great. We’ve gotten Bafana and Chean involved as the next step would be for these players to move into the next EPD phase under Barry McDonald, as well as the SA Under-20s, before they hit the senior ranks.”

Lynch will again be assisted by James Winstanley, while Van Dyk’s right hand man will be Lwazi Zangqa.

“Kathleho, Cobus and their management teams did a great job with the two SA Schools sides last month and their game in Cape Town produced a very high standard of rugby, so it made sense to keep continuity in the coaching ranks, as they already know some of the players very well, and both myself and Chean are excited to be working with them,” said Nhleko.

“England and France have very good age-group rugby programmes and we’re expecting them to provide very strong opposition in this series, which will be beneficial to the players are they are on the cusp of progressing to the Under-20 ranks.

“The World Rugby Under-20 Championship will be back on the calendar next year and I’m expecting most of these guys to feature for the Junior Boks in the next two years.”

The players will start their preparations in Stellenbosch from Sunday, 14 August, and will be based at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport.

The squads are:

SA Under-18:

Backs: Michail Damons (fullback, Bulls), Stehan Heymans (flyhalf, Bulls), Steven Nel (scrumhalf, Bulls), Caleb Abrahams (scrumhalf, Cheetahs), Alfondso Isaacs (wing, Cheetahs), Joshua Boulle (centre, Lions), Joel Leotlela (wing, Lions), Litelihle Bester (centre, Sharks), Sha-Jehaan de Jongh (wing, WP), Bruce Sherwood (centre, WP), Thurlon Williams (flyhalf, WP).

Forwards: Sibabalwe Mahashe (loose forward, Border), Lilitha Matsiliza (utility forward, Bulls), Casper Badenhorst (prop, Cheetahs), Lukas Meyer (loose forward, Cheetahs), JF van Heerden (lock, Cheetahs), Sifiso Magwaza (prop, Lions), Thabang Mphafi (lock, Lions), Ethan Bester (hooker, Sharks), Thomas Dyer (loose forward, Sharks), Jack Waterhouse (lock, Sharks), Ruan Swart (prop, SWD), Luca Bakkes (hooker, WP), Matthew Fick (loose forward, WP), Reno Hirst (prop, WP), Zachary Porthen (prop, WP).

SA Under-18 A:

Backs: Onelisiwe Fani (scrumhalf, Border), Sesethu Mpaka (centre, Border), Bradley Giddy (flyhalf, Cheetahs), Antonio Bruiners (centre, SWD), Camden Schoeman (loose forward, SWD), JT Strydom (fullback, SWD), Jameel de Jongh (wing, WP), Gino Cupido (wing, WP), Jurenzo Julies (centre, WP), Liam Koen (flyhalf, WP), Emrique Liedeman (scrumhalf, WP), JC Mars (fullback, WP), Philip-Albert van Niekerk (centre, WP).

Forwards: Max du Pisani (loose forward, EP), Ulrich van der Westhuizen (lock, Lions), Christian Everitt (hooker, Sharks), Liyema Ntshanga (prop, Sharks), Sandile Nzuza (utility forward, Sharks), Nic Snyman (prop, Sharks), Zuki Tom (loose forward, Sharks), Bernard Bladergroen (prop, WP), Daniel Botha (lock, WP), Keanu Coetzee (lock, WP), Divan Fuller (loose forward, WP), Willem Loubser (prop, WP), Juan Smal (hooker, WP).

U18 International Series fixtures:

Friday 19 August 2022
13h00: South Africa U18 A vs France
15h30: South Africa U18 vs England

Tuesday 23 August 2022
13h00: South Africa U18 A vs England
15h30: South Africa U18 vs France

Saturday 27 August 2022
13h00: South Africa U18 A vs France
15h30: South Africa U18 vs England

SA Under-18 Team Management:
Head Coach: Kathleho Lynch (Golden Lions)
Assistant Coach: James Winstanley (Eastern Province)
Physiotherapist: Ken Kabongo (Boland)
Strength and Conditioning: Sisonke Makapela (Free State)
Team Doctor: Gershin Kortje (Boland)
Team Manager: Dean Moodley (Sharks)

SA Under-18 A Team Management:
Head Coach: Cobus van Dyk (Blue Bulls)
Assistant Coach: Lwazi Zangqa (Border)
Physiotherapist: Tanya Green (Western Province)
Strength and Conditioning: Yao Faso Amo (Leopards)
Team Doctor: Gershin Kortje (Boland)
Team Manager: Jimmy Jimlongwe (Free State)