The travelling group of players and management leave Cape Town for Johannesburg on Thursday, and they will face the Lions on the same day. The squad then travel to KwaZulu-Natal, where they will go into a short training camp before facing the Cell C Sharks (17 May).

Following the tour, the tight five will have a short camp while the rest of the players head home for a short break. The squad will reconvene at their base at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport on Sunday, 21 May.

“We had our first proper match last week against the Kenyan side and the next step would be to lift our intensity in terms of actually playing and executing in match situations,” said Junior Springbok head coach Bafana Nhleko.

“We’ve been together for just under a month and I can only praise the attitude and work ethic of the players, but also members of management.

“Our first training block was about assessment and fundamentals. Next, we need to progress to playing actual matches and that is why this mini-tour will be very important. We’d like to thank all the teams that will be hosting us.

“Both the Lions and Sharks will field senior teams and they will properly test our systems. It’s important for us to understand where we are and to see how the boys respond to the challenge. We are also trying to replicate a similar timeline what we can expect during the World Rugby U20 Championship.”

There were also some player movements in the Academy squad. Suleiman Hartzenberg has been ruled out due to injury, while the DHL Western Province duo of Damian Markus (outside back) and Hennie Sieberhagen (lock) have joined the squad.

Bruce Sherwood and Grant de Jager (both DHL WP), Katlego Lebokeng (Toyota Cheetahs), Neels Volschenk (Vodacom Bulls) and Sibabalwe Mahashe (Lions) were released to their provinces, although they may be called upon to re-join the programme at a later stage.

The Junior Springboks will play in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in June and July when South Africa play host to this tournament, with matches scheduled for Stellenbosch, Paarl and Wellington in the Western Cape.