The South African Rugby Union (SARU) announced on Thursday an SA Schools squad of 28 players for the forthcoming Under-18 International series against France, Wales and England, from 10 to 24 August.
The squad was selected following a successful trial match held on Saturday at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park, after the conclusion of the Coca-Cola Youth Weeks.
Nine players from the Blue Bulls were selected in the squad, Eastern Province have four representatives while three players each from KwaZulu-Natal and South Western Districts were selected.
Hein Kriek of Paul Roos, who coached the DHL Western Province team at the Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week in Middelburg, will coach the SA Schools team.
The SA Schools team, which is sponsored by Coca-Cola, have remained unbeaten in their international matches over the past four years.
Their first match is against France at the City Park Stadium in Cape Town on August 15, followed by Wales at Outeniqua Park in George on August 19, and England at the Paul Roos Markötter grounds in Stellenbosch on August 23.
SARU CEO Jurie Roux congratulated the squad on their selection and explained that the Coca-Cola Youth Weeks Programme as well as the SA Schools itinerary falls in line with SARU’s strategic objective of providing platforms for our country’s top Under-18 players, so that they are able test their skills against the best local and international opposition.
“From here on, there will be hands-on coaching, management, programmes of intervention and monitoring of this group of players by our Springbok and Junior Springbok management teams as well as the SARU Mobi Unit,” said Roux.
“Over the years we have seen many players graduate from the Coca-Cola Youth Weeks to the SA Schools team and then to our provincial unions and our various national teams such as the Springbok Sevens, the Junior Springboks and ultimately the Springboks. This pathway is one of the core objectives of our Development and High Performance Departments.”
The SA Schools squad and management will assemble in Cape Town on 10 August in preparation for the three Under-18 internationals.
The 2014 SA Schools squad is:
Fullbacks: Morné Joubert (Glenwood HS, KwaZulu-Natal), Keanu Vers (Grey HS, Eastern Province).
Wings: Nazo Nkala (Welkom Gimnasium, Griffons), Jerry Danquah (Queens College, Border), Andell Loubsher (Menlo Park, Blue Bulls).
Centres: Barend Smit (HTS Middelburg, Pumas), Eduan Keyter (Affies, Blue Bulls), JT Jackson (Oakdale Agric, SWD).
Flyhalves: Curwin Bosch (Grey HS, Eastern Province), Thinus de Beer (Waterkloof, Blue Bulls).
Scrumhalves: Marko Janse van Vuuren (HS Transvalia, Valke), Embrose Papier (Garsfontein, Blue Bulls).
Loose forwards: Jakobus Coetzee (Glenwood, KwaZulu-Natal), Junior Pokomela (Grey HS, Eastern Province), Edmund Rheeder (HS Klerksdorp, Leopards), Cobus Wiese (HS Upington, Griquas Country Districts), Victor Maruping (Louis Botha, Free State), Arnold Gerber (Menlo Park, Blue Bulls).
Locks: Eduard Zandberg (Outeniqua HS, SWD), Jaco Willemse (Paarl Gimnasium, Western Province), Ashton Fortuin (Southland College, Blue Bulls).
Hookers: Jan-Henning Campher (Garsfontein, Blue Bulls), Le Roux Baard (Outeniqua HS, SWD).
Props: Ignatius Prinsloo (Grey College, Free State), Sarel-Marco Smit (Eldoraigne, Blue Bulls), Ngonidzashe Chidoma (Northwood HS, KwaZulu-Natal), Michael Kumbirai (St Albans College, Blue Bulls), Lupumlo Mguca (Daniel Pienaar, Eastern Province).
Coach: Hein Kriek (Paul Roos, Western Province)
The SA Schools itinerary for 2014 is:
10 Aug: Squad assembly in Cape Town
15 Aug: SA Schools vs France – City Park Stadium
19 Aug: SA Schools vs Wales- Outeniqua Park, George
23 Aug: SA Schools vs England – Markötter Stadium, Stellenbosch