Johannes-Haupt, who is also an assistant coach of the Springbok Women’s side, will be in Mthatha along with Lynne Cantwell, SA Rugby’s High-Performance Manager for Women’s Rugby, and Springbok Women’s assistant coach Franzel September, to see the players in action and help identify the right players for the Junior Bok Women.

“This year’s competition is certainly bigger and better, as it’s not only the Youth Training Centres that will participate, but now most young girls in South Africa will have an opportunity to stake a claim for the U20 squad,” said Johannes-Haupt.

“This is a massive help as we prepare for the future, as the Junior Springbok Women squads from the last few years have helped develop quite a few players who have gone on to be selected in the senior national set-up.

“Progressing players through the ranks bodes very well for the future of women’s rugby in South Africa as we continue to work hard at grassroots level and developing players at age-group level.

“We would like to see that the unions have been doing some constructive work with the girls – not necessarily by delivering a polished product, but to see them on a level where some of these players could progress and who knows, even represent South Africa at the next Rugby World Cup in 2025.”

Following the withdrawal of Boland, a second team from Border has been added to the schedule. The fixtures for the first two days were determined based on the rankings of the last Youth Training Centre (YTC) tournament held in Cape Town in 2022.

The matches on the third and fourth days (Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 September) will be determined by the rankings following the opening two rounds, while all 12 participating teams will be in action on the final day of the tournament (Thursday 28 September).

Updated fixtures (first two match days):

Sunday, 24 September
09h30: Blue Bulls vs SWD
11h30: Limpopo vs Griquas
13h15: Opening Ceremony
14h00: Western Province vs Border 1

Monday, 25 September
09h30: Free State vs Golden Lions
11h30: Border 2 vs Zimbabwe
13h30: Eastern Province vs Sharks