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DESPITE the suspension of full-back Sias Ebersohn, the South Africans Under-20 rugby team is geared up to upset England in the International Rugby Board Junior World Championships semifinals in Japan today.
This was the view of SA Rugby Union spokesperson Yusuf Jackson, who believes the boys are motivated to reach the final following their three unbeaten runs in the group stages.
Ebersohn was suspended for three weeks on Monday after a dangerous tackle on France's centre Geoffrey Doumayrou on Saturday.
Jackson agreed that Ebersohn's absence was a great loss to the team considering his brilliant performance in previous games.
"However, I am optimistic that the boys will do South Africa proud by brushing England aside on their way to the final.
"We boast of experienced players who have been in the world champions before," said Jackson.
Coach Eric Sauls was coerced to make few changes in today's starting line-up with centre Francois Brummer moving to fullback.
Nicolas Hanekom will partner Baby Boks captain Robert Ebersohn at centre to form a formidable combination while Marnus Schoeman will take the position of Yaasir Hartzenburg in the loose-forward.
The home team is expected to improve their last year's performance after finishing third in the same competition held in Wales.
The SA team: Brummer, Gerhard van den Heever, Hanekom, Ebersohn, Sampie Mastriet, Lionel Cronje, Ross Cronje, Christiaan Stander, Rynhardt Elstadt, Schoeman, David Bulbring, Jan Andre Marais, Coenraad Oosthuizen, Kyle Cooper and Morne Mellet.