The SA Schools Under-18 Sevens team will look to continue their dominance at the Capricorn Group Sevens tournament in Windhoek next weekend, with Marius Schoeman (coach) again assembling a strong outfit to travel to Namibia.
South Africa face the national Under-18 teams from Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia on Friday, 8 March and Germany and Botswana on Saturday, 9 March at the Windhoek Gymnasium Private School in the annual tournament where they have yet to taste defeat in three years.
For Schoeman, this tournament is vital in the development of the next generation of Springbok Sevens players.
“We have seen how quickly players can progress in the Blitzboks set-up, because if you are good enough, age will not hold you back,” said Schoeman.
“Someone such as Muller du Plessis played in the tournament two years ago, and last year we had Christi Grobbelaar, who is now with the SA Rugby Sevens Academy, so the future is bright if you show the willingness and talent.
“The most important element of this tournament for me is the fact that the boys learn to play sevens in a competitive tournament structure. The exposure to sevens in such an environment is valuable for the players. Many of them will do this for the first time and will be better players afterwards because of it.”
Schoeman is also keen to have the other national teams involved: “We want to help our neighbouring teams where we can and this tournament is also an important measurement for them. It is about making them better teams as well.”
The SA Under-18 Sevens team is:
1. Christiaan Smit (Ben Vorster HS)
2. Tiaan Pretorius (Paul Roos Gymnasium)
3. Siviwe Zondani (Grey HS)
4. Janco Cloete (Grey College)
5. Renzo du Plessis (Ben Vorster HS)
6. Hlumelo Klaas (Grey HS)
7. Latica Nela (Hilton College)
8. Nico Steyn (Glenwood)
9. Sacha Mngomezulu (Bishops)
10. Hanco van Wyk (Monument)
11. Danvon Blood (Rondebosch BHS)
12. Curwin Gertse (Paarl Gymnasium)
13. Javier Farmer (Paarl BHS)