Banele Mthenjane (prop), Adrian Alberts (lock) and Celimpilo Gumede (No 8) will add valuable experience to the SA Schools team for the Aon U18 International Series next month after being named in the 30-man squad for the second successive season.
The annual tournament, which features three round of matches between the SA Schools team, England, Wales and France will be hosted at three Western Cape high schools, Boland Landbou, Stellenberg and SACS, from 10 to 18 August.
The SA Schools team – which is sponsored by Coca-Cola and coached by Sean Erasmus – features 13 players who battled it out in the final match of the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week between DHL Western Province and the Sharks in Paarl last Saturday.
Erasmus’ charges will assemble at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport on Sunday, 5 August, to begin their preparations for the series. The captain will be announced once the coaching staff have had a chance to work with the players.
“I am very happy with the quality of the players in the squad,” said Erasmus.
“All of the players performed well in the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, and they showed that they can play an exciting brand of rugby. I was particularly impressed with the resilience and character they showed during the week and I am very excited to work with them.
“The experience and leadership that the players such as Adrian, Celimpilo and Banele will bring is also good as they will set the pace and intensity at training.”
Erasmus emphasised the importance of good preparation to be a force to be reckoned with in the series, and said: “Good planning and solid preparation will be important to ensure that we play the type of rugby we are capable of playing. And with that, we need to ensure that the culture and attitude within in the team is right. If we can do this, the results will take care of itself.”
England and France will get the tournament underway at Boland Landbou in Paarl on Friday, 10 August, with the SA Schools team meeting Wales in their opening game.
The SA Schools team will meet France in the second round at Stellenberg in Durbanville on Tuesday, 14 August, with Wales taking on England, while the tournament concludes at SACS in Newlands on Saturday, 18 August, with the SA Schools team battling it out with England, and France meeting Wales.
SA Schools team for the Aon U18 International Series:
Jacobus Agenbag (prop), Free State/Grey College
Adrian Alberts (lock), DHL Western Province/Paarl Boys High
Dewald Donald (prop), Ultimate Aim Blue Bulls/Affies
Tristan Dullisear (flanker), Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions/Monument
Jacques Goosen (hooker), Build-it Border/Selborne College
Celimpilo Gumede (No 8), Sharks/Durban High School
Hanru Jacobs (prop), DHL Western Province/Paul Roos Gymnasium
Jean-Jacques Kotze (hooker), DHL Western Province/Paul Roos Gymnasium
De Wet Marais (flanker), Free State/Grey College
Mihlali Mgolodela (flanker), DHL Western Province/Rondebosch Boys High
Keketso Morabe (No 8), Thepa Trading Griffons/Welkom Gimnasium
Banele Mthenjane (prop), King Price Pumas/Nelspruit
Lunga Ncube (lock), Sharks/Glenwood
Evan Roos (No 8), DHL Western Province/Paarl Boys High
Sibusiso Sangweni (lock), Sharks/Kearsney College
Jarrod Taylor (flanker), Build-it Border/Selborne College
Uzile Tele (flanker), Build-it Border/Hudson Park High
Emile van Heerden (lock), DHL Western Province XV, Paarl Boys High
Lionel April (flyhalf), Boland/ Hermanus High
Thomas Bursey (scrumhalf), Build-it Border/Selborne College
Jurich Claasens (scrumhalf), Ultimate Aim Blue Bulls/Garsfontein
Darren Hendricks (fullback), DHL Western Province/Boland Landbou
Stravino Jacobs (winger), DHL Western Province/Paarl Gymnasium
Rynhardt Jonker (centre), Sharks/Glenwood
Muzilikazi Manyike (centre), Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions/Jeppe Boys High
Juan Mostert (flyhalf), DHL Western Province/Paul Roos Gymnasium
Brendan Venter (centre), DHL Western Province/Paul Roos Gymnasium
Wyclef Vlitoor (winger), Free State/Grey College
Sibabalwe Xamlashe (fullback), Build-it Border/Selborne College
Mnombo Zwelindaba (centre), Build-it Border/Selborne College