The South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Tuesday announced a strong SA Under-18 Sevens squad for the Youth Commonwealth Games which will take place in Apia, Samoa, from 9 to 11 September.
Eastern Province schoolboy star Curwin Bosch (Grey College), who won the 2014 Coca-Cola Craven Week Player of the Year award, is one of eight SA Schools squad members who participated in the team’s triumphant Under-18 International Series campaign. The tournament featured England, Wales, France and Italy.
SA U18 Sevens team manager, Marius Schoeman, was pleased with the strength of the team and said their goal is to go one step further than the silver medal won at the previous edition of the tournament in the Isle of Man, where South Africa lost to England in the final. Paul Delport, a former Springbok Sevens star and current coach of the successful SA Sevens Academy team, will coach the team.
Schoeman said: “This group is the result of an identification process that started two years ago at the Under-16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week. We have monitored their progress ever since, and they all came through a rigorous training camp hosted in April and last December.”
He added: “The majority of the squad consists of players who did very well for the SA Schools team in the recent Under-18 International Series against quality opposition. Although we won’t have much time together before we fly to Samoa, I am confident that the boys will perform well. ”
The squad will assemble next Thursday, 28 August, in Johannesburg as part of the greater Team SA contingent for a three-day training camp, and are set to depart for the Pacific Islands on Sunday, 30 August.
SA Sevens Under-18 team to participate in the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa – provincial union and high school in brackets:
1. Manie Libbok (SWD, Outeniqua)*
2. Embrose Papier (Blue Bulls, Garsfontein) *
3. Francois Agenbag (Free State, Grey College)
4. Curwin Bosch (Eastern Province, Grey High School – PE) *
5. Heino Bezuidenhout (Eastern Province, Daniel Pienaar) *
6. Stedman Gans (Blue Bulls, Waterkloof) *
7. Donovan du Randt (KwaZulu-Natal, Glenwood)
8. Hacjivah Dayimane (Golden Lions, Jeppe)*
9. Johan Visser (Western Province, Paarl Gymnasium)*
10. Damian Willemse (Western Province, Paul Roos)*
11. JC Pretorius (Pumas, Middelburg)
12. Mfundu Ndlovu (Pumas, Standerton)
Manager: Marius Schoeman (SARU)
Coach: Paul Delport (SARU)
*Indicates representation in the SA Schools squad