SARU names large group for SA Schools trials


Craven Week
Craven Week

SARU has announced a squad of 55 players to attend the SA Schools trials on Saturday, 26 July at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park, Johannesburg.

The SA Schools trial squad was selected by the national selectors following the conclusion of the Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week in Middelburg. The trials in Kempton Park will assist the national selectors to finalisethe 28-man SA Schools squad for next month’s series of youth international matches featuring France, Wales and England.

In the last four years the SA Schools team, which is sponsored by Coca-Cola, participated in the series with great success by remaining unbeaten. With a healthy rugby development system in SA, they will look to repeat this feat for the fifth time in August following the decision by the English, French and Welsh Under-18 teams to return to SA this year.

The SA Schools team will face France in their first match of the series at the City Park Stadium in Cape Town on August 15, Wales at Outeniqua Park in George on August 19, and England at the Paul Roos Markötter ground in Stellenbosch on August 23.

The trial group consists of 23 backs and 33 forwards and includes two players who starred at the Under-18 Academy Week in Worcester recently, Boland flanker Jurie Fick and Lions number eight Hacjivah Dayimani.

“This large group of players caught the attention with their exciting skills during another excellent Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week. All of them now have a final chance to impress the selectors, who have the difficult task to select just 28 players for the upcoming youth internationals,” said SARU CEO Jurie Roux.

Roux added:  “Over the years we have seen many players graduate from the Coca-Cola Youth Weeks to the SA Schools team and then to either to our provincial unions or the Springbok team. We believe this tough competition for our school players will ensure that they are adequately prepared for the demands and challenges of international rugby in future.”

The following players will attend the SA Schools trials on Saturday in Kempton Park, Johannesburg:

Fullbacks: Morné Joubert (KZN), Eduan Keyter (Blue Bulls), Keanu Vers (Eastern Province);

Right wings: Nazo Nkala (Griffons), Duncan Saal (WP), Manie Libbok (SWD);

Outside centres: Barend Smit (Pumas), Cyprian Nkomo (Pumas), Markus Coetzer (Leopards);

Inside centres: JT Jackson (SWD), Tshepo Thulo (Lions), Heino Bezuidenhout (Eastern Province), Franco Naude (Blue Bulls);

Left wings: Jerry Danquah (Border), Connery Poole (Blue Bulls), Andell Loubsher (Blue Bulls);

Flyhalves: Curwin Bosch (Eastern Province), Thinus de Beer (Blue Bulls), Tristian Tedder (KZN);

Scrumhalves:  Marko Janse van Vuuren (Valke), Ambrose Papier (Blue Bulls), Stephan Enslin (Pumas), Jaywin Juries (Griffons);

Number eights: Jakobus Coetzee (KZN), Junior Komela (Eastern Province), Edmund Rheeder (Leopards), Hacjivah Dayimani (Lions);

No 7 flankers: Cobus Wiese (Griquas Country Districts), Conal Brown (Boland), Victor Maruping (Free State), Arnold Gerber (Blue Bulls);

No 6 flankers: Saud Abrahams (Western Province), Willem Massyn (Lions), Luigy van Jaarsveld (Eastern Province CD), Jurie Fick (Boland);

No 5 locks: Eduard Zandberg (SWD), Ruben de Villiers (Western Province), Hendré Stassen (Valke), Teubus Brits (Griquas);

No 4 Locks: Jaco Willemse (Western Province), Rhyno Herbst (Lions), Rikus Swart (Griquas), Ashton Fortuin (Blue Bulls);

Tighthead props: Ignatius Prinsloo (Free State), Sarel-Marco Smit (Blue Bulls), Stefan Hanekom (Griquas CD), Jakobus Tredoux (KwaZulu-Natal)

Hookers: Jan-Henning Campher (Blue Bulls), Le Roux Baard (SWD), Alandre van Rooyen (Eastern Province), Nico Peyper (Valke);

Loosehead props: Kenneth van Niekerk (KwaZulu-Natal), Ngonidzashe Chidoma (KwaZulu-Natal), Michael Kumbirai (Blue Bulls), Lupumlo Mguca (Eastern Province

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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. Crazy how EP and SWD are the two top teams this year and only get 4 from SWD and 7 from EP and then the Bulls who was useless and Natal with 7 and 6….. :noshake: Then people want to know why Cheeky and his clan is the way they are?

  2. A real sad sight. Probably some of the EP guys and SWD will also be dropped. Its a pity but from what i have been told the system is set. Even the Springboks have been touted. :-|

  3. I think he was reefrring to the ability of the Bulls to contract players and produce Springboks.

    The sad truth is that the present Craven Week selection system is fraught with political intercession and politically correct choices.

    The result is that the big school derbies and tournaments are far more likely to produce scouts looking for players to sign.

  4. I know le roux and habana. Its possible but highly doubt. I was informed by a very influencial figure that Your identification starts at the grant tourney . Then craven week. There are the special few who will have never gone to Craven week. Like handre was touted at under 16; persuaded to hit bulls by the current bok coach and last year told have your game on point you will get your cap.

  5. @Jacques(Bunny):

    Just a question…

    Do you think the best talent gets selected based on their union of origin or because they perhaps just display the best results during the week?

    An FYI.

    A Craven Week squad (team you guys see) is made up of 22 players (for the whole week).

    Rules are, each player, number 1 to 22 has to play a full game.

    Additional rules dictate the same front row may not play 2 games in a row.

    Another interesting point is that each team (full 22 mentioned above) only plays 3 games (in 6 days).

    You are lucky if you see one player for longer than 100 minutes (games are only 70 minutes according to high schools laws).

    Looking at selections may seem lob-sided if you over-analyze but fuck, you get what you can take as a selector while the going is (actually) going.

    Bulls as a team may not have been good (EP, SWD, Valke etc. have been) but you pick individuals, not a team, and you only have on average about 30min per player to do so considering you have 20 teams (10 teams a day over 4 days) to do so.

  6. @Morné: Morne I hear what you are saying and maybe we are not as close to the setup of these selections as you are, but it is disturbing when you watch the games on TV throughout the week and see talent from teams and they get half the selections than teams that not just under performed but the players did as well.

    And yes if you look at senior unions as well when a union does perform you get more selections from that union than from one which under perform.

    Again I get your point on the amount of play time for players at these weeks, so does school derbies come into play throughout the year as well?

    Are we only looking at this week?

  7. @bchanakira2:

    I very much doubt that any player is ‘gifted’ a Bok cap despite what a Craven week or Provincial coach promises them… in the same veign that I very much doubt a Bok coach would select anyone other than whom he thinks is the very best in the land…

    Every Bok coach has had their bolters, and other than the odd politically enforced selection… I have not seen any squad since reinstatement that pretty much was not the best available in RSA (and now outside of RSA)…

    Pollard is there for a reason… firstly that being the injury list at 10 this season… and secondly no matter what his RSA coaches or anyone in RSA have stated the International Rugby Board voted him the World Junior Player of the year…

    I’d be more worried if any player that can a> achieve those accolades was not in my squad and b> even more concerned if his talent was not seeing him move through the ranks into the test side…

  8. @Jacques(Bunny):

    I’d most certainly hope selectors would at least be watching all T20 schools on any given weekend…

    Overseas scouts would more than likely be doing that within RSA every now and again…

  9. @Jacques(Bunny):

    I think we often make the mistake where we think the best performing ‘team’ has to have the bulk of the players. EP as a shining example was a great ‘team’ but to be perfectly honest, they had very few ‘bolters’ that stood out.

    They were extremely well coached, had a very good game plan and executed very well. In other words, it was a great team effort.

    In a ‘team’ environment I would put a lot more emphasis on the coach and his talent, than individual player talent.

    As for how often these players are ‘seen’ – of course we have the festival weeks, and the odd game on TV – but remember, these guys then play in a completely different setup, with none of the pressures of Craven Week so are we comparing apples with apples?

    Some of these kids also come through the U16 week, in fact, quite a number of them and yes they have the inside lane which I think one can expect on a 50/50 call. Remember, in a tournament like Craven Week a lot of youngsters play with injuries (just to play or take part in the event), some might just have a really bad 30 or 40 minutes on the park which happens to everyone, but they are still class.

    What I did find interesting is how many kids playing for certain provinces now, came from rural or smaller unions not even 2 years ago.

    As an example, a laaitie now playing for the Bulls played for Boland at U16 Khom Week – that for me was very interesting and there were quite a few of those…

    Selectors are also brought in from all over the show. The panel this year had ‘representatives’ from the EC, Griquas, Cheetahs, Lions, Pumas & Boland.

  10. @Morné: Make sense…seems like the systems are in place which makes this then easier to swallow…for the guys who watch on TV it does come through as a shock, through our perception of selections which we all know is on the sensitive side does not matter which team is pick.