Only one Blue Bulls player in SA Schools team

Diego Appollis of Hoërskool Garsfontein is the only player from Pretoria (Blue Bulls) that made the SA Schools team. Foto: Frans Lombard

Six players who featured in the SA Schools and SA Schools ‘A’ teams in the Under 19 International Series last season will add experience to the 28-member squad named on Thursday for the 2017 edition of the tournament in Cape Town.

Centre Rikus Pretorius was a member of the triumphant SA Schools team that registered a whitewash in the 2016 series, while scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba, flankers Dylan Richardson and Mark Snyman, lock Juan van der Mescht and prop Keagan Glade all represented the SA Schools ‘A’ team.

The SA Schools team, sponsored by Coca-Cola, will face Wales on Friday, 11 August at City Park Stadium in Crawford; France on Tuesday, 15 August, at Paarl Gymnasium; and England on Saturday, 19 August, at a venue yet to be confirmed.

In total 18 players in the squad featured in the final match of the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week at St Stithians College in Johannesburg last Saturday between the Golden Lions and the Sharks, which the home team won 45-18, with each side boasting nine players.

The tournament marks the sixth edition of the international schools tournament, which has become a highlight on the schools rugby calendar. The SA Schools team will again be guided by head coach Lance Sendin, who is also the Hugenote Hoërskool First XV team coach, while Tshepa Trading Griffons U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week assistant coach Roean Bezuidenhout has been named as his assistant coach.

The SA Schools team will gather in Stellenbosch on Sunday, 6 August, to begin their preparations for the tournament. The captain and vice-captain is set to be named once the coaches have had time to work with the players.

“This is a talented group of players and we are excited to work with them ahead of the tournament. We have no doubt that a huge challenge awaits in the series, but this is an exciting time of the year for us all and we will give our best to be successful in the series,” said Sendin.

Due to the number of participating teams in the series, the SA Schools A team will not be in action this year.

SA Schools squad:

Forwards (18): Adrian Alberts (lock – Western Province/Paarl Boys High); Morne Brandon (hooker – Golden Lions/Monument); Phendulani Buthelezi (No 8 – Sharks/Durban High School); Jordan Clarke (prop – Sharks/Glenwood); Vian Fourie (flanker – Western Province/Paarl Boys High); Keagan Glade (prop – Golden Lions/KES); Travis Gordon (No 8 – Golden Lions/KES); Ruhann Greyling (hooker – Free State/Grey College); Celimpilo Gumede (lock – Sharks/Durban High School); Joachim Martins (flanker -Western Province/Paarl Gymnasium); Nkosikhona Masuku (prop – Golden Lions/Parktown Boys High); Fezokuhle Mbatha (hooker – Sharks/Maritzburg College); Banele Mthenjane (prop – Pumas/Nelspruit); Asenathi Ntlabakanye (prop – Golden Lions/St Stithians); Dylan Richardson (flanker – Sharks/Kearsney); Mark Snyman (flanker – Golden Lions/Helpmekaar); Juan van der Mescht (lock – Sharks/Glenwood); Christen van Niekerk (lock – Golden Lions/Monument).

Backs (10): Diego Appollis (utility back – Blue Bulls/Garsfontein); Hillegard Du Plessis (winger – Western Province/Paarl Gymnasium); Jaden Hendrikse (scrumhalf – Sharks/Glenwood); Yanga Hlalu (centre/winger – Golden Lions/KES); Qamani Kota (winger – Tshepa Trading Griffons/Welkom Gimnasium); Conan Le Fleur (winger – Sharks/Glenwood); Bonianga Mpeku (fullback – Golden Lions/KES);

Sanele Nohamba (scrumhalf – Sharks/Durban High School); Rikus Pretorius (centre – Free State/Grey College); Christopher Schreuder (flyhalf – Free State/Grey College).


SA Schools management team:

Head Coach – Lance Sendin

Assistant Coach – Roean Bezuidenhout

Team Manager – Ofentse Moeng

Conditioning Coach – Andre Smith

Team Doctor – Dr Gerhard Coetzer

Physiotherapist – Kim Naidoo


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