Western Province Rugby Institute – Class of 2017 intake

On their Facebook page, the WPRI displays the profiles of 39 players making up their Class of 2017 (WPRI Facebook – Class of 2017)

1 Adam Neethling PR HJS Paarl BH
2 Andre Booysen PR Paarl Gim
3 Leon Lyons PR Selborne
4 Reece Bezuidenhout PR HJS Paarl BH
5 Sazi Sandi PR St Andrew’s
6 Athi Magwala HK Boland Landbou
7 Daniel Jooste HK HJS Paarl BH
8 Liam Larkan HK SACS
9 Schalk Erasmus HK Affies
10 Ben-Jason Dixon LK Paul Roos
11 Salmaan Moerat LK HJS Paarl BH
12 Bernard Jansen LK Diamantveld
13 Alex Halversen LF SACS
14 Charl Serdyn LF HJS Paarl BH
15 Jesse Johnson LF Paul Roos
16 Muller Uys LF Paarl Gim
17 Regardt du Plessis LF Affies
18 Gift Dlamini LF Welkom Gim
19 Shaine Orderson LF Wynberg
20 Deon Carstens SH Boland Landbou
21 Labib Kannemeyer SH Wynberg
22 Brandon de Kock SH Brackenfell
23 Damian Willemse FH Paul Roos
24 Francke Botha FH Glenwood
25 Aydon Topley CT Paul Roos
26 Henlo Marais CT Boland Landbou
27 Lubelo Scott CT Bishops
28 Lyle Hendriks CT Paul Roos
29 Marco Labuschagne CT Voortrekker (Beth)
30 Mujahied van der Hoven CT Rylands
31 Mike Mavovana WG Rondebosch
32 Sako Makata WG Stirling
33 Sebastian Prentice WG Bishops
34 Benje Momberg WG Paul Roos
35 Boet Heyl WG HTS Middelburg
36 Sam Phiri WG Falcon College
37 Wian van Zyl FB Paarl Gim
38 Josh Vermeulen FB Paul Roos
39 Tiaan Henecke FB Tygerberg
40 Abner van Reenen FB Garsfontein/HJS


  1. @Beet.Abner van Reenen should be added at fullback as well.Looking very thin at centre but have 4 great hookers and a mean pack of forwards in my opinion.

  2. @Scrum5: thanks.

    @Slam: it’s a pity the Sharks lost out in their bid to sign Daniel Jooste (and Reece Bezuidenhout for that matter).

    Things don’t appear to be going so well at Kings Park in terms of stability. A 3rd new Super Rugby head coach in quick succession to go with a 3rd new junior player recruiter in the form of Michael Horak. One has to wonder why the Sharks parted ways with the quality talent scout they had in Gavin Melvill. Anyway the Sharks already have their work cut out for them without the high personnel turnover. Hopefully Horak can make some sort of impression this year. It should help him that KZN are expecting an above average year when it comes junior contract worthy prospects for 2017 but with WP, the Bulls and the new standard setters aka the Lions all appearing to be more tuned in to what it takes to get the signature of a promising player on a junior contract, it could potentially then out to be an embarrassing year for Horak and Co.

    Also want to add that Free State with their very limited budget have done outstanding groundwork in the past and contracted some players with ability + huge potential

  3. @Slam.It happens to be that WP had 3 of the 4 contracted players in their school system.Athi and Larken played no 6 for their respective schools and Jooste and Larken had offers from the Sharks.

  4. Probably a bit heavy in some and lighter in other positions, but fairly balanced, with consideration of 2015 players in the system and 2017 players to come. Good work Greg, Gareth and Co

  5. In my opinion looking at the three squads from WP , the Bulls and the Lions, it would appear that the latter, at least on paper , has the better squad. But the proof is still in the pudding, as we witnessed last season with the WP star studded 2016 u/19 squad, losing out badly.

    Also I think that the Bulls and WP are contracting way to many youngsters in these trying financial times. Each team only consists of 23 players , and although it is for most youngsters, and their parents, a huge reward and honour to get contracted , the vast majority of them very soon become disillusioned when they are not in the match group. It is most certainly no fun in practicing day, after day , carry tackle bags, with no real hope of making the team.

    I think that unions should restrict their junior contracts to between 30 and 35 players. In case of serious , long term injuries , there is surely enough cover and hidden talent in the varsities and at the various clubs, to help solve the problem.

  6. Sharks sitting with one of the most knowledgeable schoolboy rugby talent scouts in their midst but they cant scout dick

    Suffer Sardines Suffer

  7. @Andre T: T,tjie ! You must make yourself available for the job. For references , they can contact our bloggers.I am sure you will do a splendid job.

  8. @Kattes-Strofes:

    Geluk met Leo…….ek hoor by geleerdes hy is een van die hardwerkendste, doelgerigste en aangenaamste spelers in die Leeu kamp…..dit sal beloon word….indien nie nou….wel op senior vlak

  9. @Andre T: Dankie T,tjie ! Goed om te hoor ! Ja! Kom ons hoop maar die ekstra harde myle loop en opofferings, gaan vir hom sukses bring.

    Ek was ernstig oor my stelling hierbo. Ek dink rerig jy sal n helse job doen in hiedie verband. Om die regte talent te identifiseer verg veel meer as net kennis van die spel en vereistes van posisies. Mens moet aanhoudend wedstryde bywoon , opposisie se krag in ag neem, uitvind oor n speler se werk etiek, nie be-invloed word deur mense wat hul eie agenda het nie, en absoluut onpartydig optree. Dit sit nie in almal se broeks pype nie , maar jy , wat n nuweling in Sharkie land is , sal ideaal wees om die taak behoorlik te verrig. Dan weet ek ook jy ken van die land se voorste agente (veral wat juniors betref) indien jy spelers van buite wil betrek , indien nodig.

    Natuurlik dink ek ook iemand soos Beet sal n puik werk doen. Hy het ook puik kontakte by agente en ken die meeste Sharkies juniors al van hul jong dae af.Ek het ook al agtergekom dat hy nie partydig is teenoor spelers van n spesifieke skool nie, wat natuurlik baie belangrik is.

  10. @CharlesZA: I do not know how all the unions operate. However, in my oppinion , it is once again contacts with the powers to be , that can land you such a position. I know at WP that Wilfed Cupido is in charge of the scouting of junior players up to u/16. I am sure that he has some people helping him in this process. Maybe Ploegie can confirm. Regarding u/18/19 players , as well as senior players. It falls under Grag Hechter, who is the High Performance Manager. Gareth Wright , Jerome Paarwater and others also assist him. There is also a rugby sub commitee under Peter Jooste,s chairmanship, who discuss contracts etc. and who gets invited to the Rugby Institute in Stellenbosch.

  11. Sigh….what’s the use of signing 80% of the SA Schools side for the past decade if you can’t win more than 4-5 Under 19 trophies?!?!….Bulls & WP will never learn the best “well coached” side will win the trophy this year…..names mean nothing when the going gets tough at this level…lions the team to watch again this year.

  12. @Slam: Xander got 6 hookers from all over the country & you busy moaning about two hookers who grew up in the cape…. :roll:

  13. Spear played in a Sharks Academy golf day and threw some well known schoolboy names around and the okes in charge stared at him with Mr Bean faces…..

    One of the coaches didn’t even know who Chuiner van Rooyen is….or that he was heading to the Sharks

  14. @Kattes-Strofes: Lets be honest Kattes. Many of us here on the blog can spot a talented SBR player at any given game on any given Saturday without too much difficulty but its a different league of individual who has the talent himself to see the future potential of a 16/17/18 y.o. player to be able to one day make it to the senior ranks.

    I’ve had the privilege of watching rugby matches alongside with the likes of Sean Erasmus and Gavin Melvill who I rated very highly as a talent scout. These men have an incredible “rugby eyes”. The attention to detail they pick up even in the busiest rugby sequences and are able to process instantaneously is phenomenal.

    I like two points you emphasis above.

    One is character. No matter how many times you watch a SBR player and how convinced you are of his greatness and future potential, you only know a fraction of his true worth until you have some sort of meaningful feedback or hands on knowledge of what he’s self disciple, self motivation, work ethic, team spirit etc are like.

    And your point about watching matches. Obvious over a long period of time one can rely on experience to judge what’s equals good quality but in any given season until one commits to watching many games, there is a huge risk of not contracting the best available players. A big union scout’s goal should be to get the best possible player and not just settle for a good player.

  15. @Andre T: The SHARKS okes probably don’t even know who won Sharks Academy bursaries at the Kearsney Festival. They should know every talented KZN player from under13 upwards and engage with them, maybe even providing ex player mentors in their positions. I mean all I see some ex players doing is riding bikes, on holiday and pretty much doing f all…..they have the time.

  16. @Grasshopper: And getting pissed at golf days…….i promise you one of the big name former players at the Academy didn’t know who Liam Larkin, Gianni Lombard, Manny Rass, Ruan Vermaak were ….he didn’t even know who Hendrik Prinsllo from Westville was

  17. @Andre T: Jeepers, even here in the UK the clubs know of Lombaard. I was chatting to a good mate of mine yesterday who coaches Wimbledon RFC 2nd team, a 2nd Division side and he reckons the UK clubs watch Craven Week closely. I was actually really impressed with the level of rugby his side played, very physical and do the basics well.

  18. 2nd Division here is about 1st team club level in SA, so Collegians, Crusaders and Rovers. 1st team is Vodacom Cup or even Currie Cup standard. This is below the Premiership level…

  19. @Grasshopper: :mrgreen:

    I think the Sharks shouldn’t laugh off a comment like no.20. As much as they would disagree with it, there is food of thought and always room for improvement and it starts with building excellent relationships in your own backyard even if less than 1/3 of contracts will ever be dished out to locals.

    The Sharks haven’t had a good run under John Smit but they have some good personnel.

    I was very impressed with the man hours Jacques Botes put in last season. More than any other Sharks employee that I can remember, he tried to get to school games around the country, see what hidden talent was on offer and interacted with “gurus” to lay the foundation for a good network. He is a really top guy as well with a great set of values so I was 110% behind him. So it was sad that he’s past tense now. Without knowing all the facts the conclusion I drew from it, was that JB might not have had that salesman closing the deal edge which is as important as being able to scout a talent. At the end of the day, one of the crucial steps on the road to being a successful recruiter is getting a signature on a contract. But I guess it also does not help if there is uncertainty about the budget which can be just as frustrating.

  20. @Andre T: If someone is an ex player he must be an expert.

    As iemand by n rugby akademie is en nie weet wie Gianni is moet hy homself n guns doen en sy job los.

    @beet, how many of these scouts do you think attend practices to do the mental checks on a player? And they should not contract the best players, they should contract the players with the highest probability of making it to the highest level.

  21. @beet: When you say he tried to get to school matches around the country do you mean he didnt attend games all over? Isnt that his most important job?

  22. @CharlesZA:

    Nou maak jy my bang

    n ex speler n expert?

    Dink jy John Smit is n expert? Wilfred Cupido? De Wet Barry? James Dalton?

    James Small? Butch James?

    Hoeveel James’ moet ek nog noem?

  23. @Andre T: in reply to comment 21 please read 26 above.

    I’m not close to the Sharks so I don’t know the reasons why they failed again to sign the best players but we had a guy who knew all the players you mentioned and more and he interacted with people who knew these players on a personal level, so the groundwork was there, but the finish wasn’t.

    I will say that in the past many including myself have been in disagreement with Xander of the Bulls about their recruitment model and yes he does have a fantastic budget and a fantastic facility to sell but he’s first class salesman as well. He deserves credit for that. He can close a deal.

  24. @CharlesZA: :mrgreen: Thanks grammar teacher.

    What I meant is he made the effort. He did get to games around SA. His travels took him to the EC, the WC and NV in 2016 as far as I’m aware.

  25. @beet: Pity he closes the wrong deals.

    Did the Sharks not land Bosch on a 1 mil deal 2 years back? Read somewhere it was biggest deal ever out of school.

  26. Let me tell you that it can’t be too difficult to sign a youngster to come to Durban…unless they have to stay in Glenmore or Overport

    You know how many Andre Esterhuizens and Marcell Coetzees are there in this glorious country of ours?

  27. @CharlesZA: Like I said the character bit is amongst the most important qualifications a young player who wants to pursue a career in rugby can possess.

    I don’t want to harp on about how great Gavin Melvill was but at our very first meeting he told me that succeeding in rugby is down to 50% hard work and talent only accounts for the other 50%.

    Back then the Sharks also housed contracted players in B&B’s and GM said that the “matrons” who were employed to help out at these establishments could within a few weeks tell who was going to make it and who wasn’t. This was without watching the youngsters play. Obviously back then the Sharks were able to contract their small but full requirement of good schoolboy players every year.

  28. @CharlesZA: :mrgreen: No there is only one team in Bloem remember and they come to you, you don’t necessarily have to go to them.

    That comment will get me in trouble with at least one die hard cause supporter of Bloem City rugby.

    BTW you are too sharp for me tonight. You been watching CNN report on Trump or something like that? :mrgreen:

  29. @Andre T: Andre in reply to 37 you can’t live in a bubble. I mentioned it earlier today. The Lions, Bulls and WP are on the ball and are competing aggressively for the known star players.

    I even look at some of the players Free State pick up and wonder how they held off challenges from the Sharks to obtain those signatures. I guess don’t underestimate the pulling power of a good Varsity when looking at FS’s set up.

    But your point taken

  30. @beet: I did see Etienne Fynn at quite a few games, never saw Butch. Robbie Kempson gets about too. I do know Marco Palvie (No 8) and Renier Van Rooyen (tight head) are heading to the Sharks. I really feel with SA’s lack of tighthead depth, any kid decent in that position needs to be mentored by a Balie Swart or similar. They also need to be given the best contracts, supply vs demand….

  31. @Grasshopper: Look if you’re a centre heading to Durban I would say you’re prospects do not look great because the Sharks have struggled to develop good centres and those that have made it to senior rugby usually played some other possie as a junior in Durban.

    BUT as a young prop you are probably in very good hands in Durbs.

    Renier still has a chance to climb the ladder at a reasonable development pace. Marco has his work cut out for him tho. He’s lost the benefits of playing u19 CC due to injury. He needs to regain full fitness and prove his worth against u21 players this year. It won’t be easy.

  32. @Andre T: hahaha, maybe not but I am impressed each week I watch with the level. Basics are done well, nothing flashy. I mean there was a 125kg 2,05cm lock who can run the 100m in 11.5 secs in the 2nd team, very athletic. They had a Nigerian wing who runs the 100m in 10.40 in the 2nd team….

  33. @beet: Agree on Marco, but he has something you can’t coach or learn, pure mongrel. Hopefully he recovers and does well. Agreed on centre, nightmare position in KZN…..

  34. @beet: if the Sharks don’t retain Richardson this year, I’ll be pee’d off. JJ we know is a Bulls player. Le Fleur & Conradie could make a great centre pairing so the Sharks must watch them closely.

  35. I was in Welkom 2 years ago……..on a blind date…..took the girl to a Griffons vs Griquas game game……the curtain raiser was u/19’s CC

    There was a centre/wing by the name of Juan Carlo Kleynhans, built like Sonny Bill, playing for the Griffons demolishing the Griquas. Later I heard he is still in grade 11 in Bothaville, not a one horse town, they actually share a horse with Viljoenskroon. I phoned Murrayfield, told him this guy should be in Menlopark. Nothing happened but I see he is in the Bulls u/19 squad.

  36. @CharlesZA:

    Maybe year or two in Stellenbosch and then off to Allianz Park?

    He does have British ancestry…..will walk into an English team

  37. Think I should offer my services to Wasps, Exeter, Bath etc…….would love to go up against some of these local scouts

  38. @Grasshopper: It should be one of Horak’s goals to retain all the players you mentioned plus the prospects at DHS as well as a few others from around KZN.

    Personally I think the Sharks missed a golden opportunity to build a better relationship with Richardson. At KERF I suggested to a Sharks official that they get him down to KP to work on his lineout throws and his passing. When I talked to his mom at CW, she said he had never had formal lineout training so obviously there was no interaction with the Sharks. His lineout work did not go well at CW and although he was my choice as KZN school season player of 2016, he was lucky to make SA “A” ahead of players like Larkan and possibly one or two others and even in KZN there was at least one other KZN player who would have done a good job for KZN at 2. I do ask myself what would have happened with regards to improving his setpiece work if DR was in the Lions/WP/EP/BB/SWD region last year.

    It’s been touched on before that there appears to be a shortage of tall quality locks in 2017. Chances are a few kids would have shot up in height and will plug the holes but coming into 2017 JJ is a hot commodity and will be highly sort after. It might come across as biased because I’m a lifelong Sharks supporter but my advice to him would be to sign with the Sharks. If he looks at WP, the Bulls and Lions right now, they have decent young locks on their books (esp the Bulls who could afford to lose Nicolaas Janse v Rensburg without feeling the effects). The path to the top is quickest and easiest at the Sharks where there isn’t much compo in the junior ranks and he won’t have to rely on that element of “luck” that so often plays a part in determining which players make it.

  39. @Grasshopper: Interesting Paul Roos has a “project” on the go with Saracens which allows players to spend offseason time in England. Obviously with Rupert being involved with both, it makes facilitating that sort of thing easier.

  40. I also hope the Sharks succeed in signing this year’s Helpmekaar hooker. He wants to come so yes, go and do your jobs and stay off the golf course

  41. @Andre T: Hats off to the Bulls. You saw that player by chance. They probably found out about him through their well-established network.

    The Bulls have been linked with school player moves in the past so my guess is there is more to the story and the player ultimately did not want to move. I could be wrong tho.

    The nice thing about SA is a kid still does not have to go to a big well recognised rugby school to make it in rugby. We have plenty of examples and hopefully Kleynhans proves to be another in a few years time.

    Thank you for the feedback on him. I’m looking forward to seeing what he has to offer.

  42. @beet: Lol…his folks live on the plots near De Deur, doubt it if the old man knows which end of the club to grip

    Sorry Raymond


  43. @beet: Agree with you on the importance of work ethic and positive attitude. Problem is that very few of the decision makers get to know players that well. They rely too heavily on word of mouth, where agents “talk up” their future revenue stream. One can track conditioning and skills progress. It shows the kids have worked hard between seasons. There are also quite a few player posers out there that talk the talk, but do not walk the walk. Pity it is not run like good business. If you want the best, you go looking for them, and it is hard work. It royally pays off in the end though. Then to get the right coach! Now that is an interesting dilemma.

  44. @beet: Sharks should have been talking to all of these boys from GK 2015;

    1 R. MABOI (HILT)
    2 D. TRUTER (GW)
    3 S. NDUZI (DHS)
    6 K. FATYELA (DHS)
    9 S. NOHAMBA (DHS)
    11 T. NDUDJO (DHS)
    12 J.C. CONRADIE (GW)
    13 D. KRUGER (GW)
    14 K. ILUNGA (W)
    15 C. ZONDEKI (DHS)
    16 F. MBATHA (MC)
    17 B. SCHWULTZ (GW)
    18 S. BARNES (DHS)
    19 M. NHLOZI (W)
    20 J. PHIPSON (W)
    21 N. MJARA (MC)
    22 A. HOLDER (FER)

  45. @Grasshopper: And Maboi has finished school now.

    Look I’ve always felt that the Sharks should be doing more to up their profile by letting players/parents/coaches know they are around on Saturdays and watching games. It does no harm to interact. But committing to players is an entirely different story.

    For the benefit of keeping u20 club rugby as strong as possible, it would be nice to retain all the players on your list above.

    For the purposes of offering proper contracts, I don’t necessarily think it would be a wise or financially viable decision to be engaging with all the players on that list. Plus there are a few others not on that list and in the same age group and in KZN, who are probably more deserving of time and attention that a number of players listed.

  46. @BrotherBear: Hi Beertjie ! I take it you mean the boytjies at the WP Stellenbosch Rugby Institute. Yes ! Some of them do study at Maties. The latter has come to the party, and made some bursaries available, starting this year. It is a step in the right direction ! However ! The workability of this still needs to be proven, once the boys must go train at WP,s High Performance Centre in Bellville, in their second year. The travelling time and classes may cause some concerns. However ! As I said ! Definitely a possitive move !

  47. @beet: agreed, but the two who made SA Academy should have some sort of bursary to the Sharks Academy as a minimum commitment to them. Imagine saying to JJ, also you will have Mark Andrews as a mentor? Or Richardson, John Smit or Wayne Fyvie will be your mentor.

  48. @Grasshopper: Sanele Nohamba also made SA “A”.

    Under the prevailing standards, bursaries won’t cut it for any of the 3. They are all contract level players.

    If I was contracting players for the Sharks forget mentors, I would pray for a decent budget, good 2017 Super Rugby results and that the players/parents I approached didn’t have tertiary education aspirations that could not be accommodated in Durban. I think the new hotel accommodation arrangement is a big plus – the mothers will be well pleased with it which is a big plus slash selling point.

    Moving slightly off topic Durban might not be the ideal destination for many of top players coming out of school but for late developers and other overlooked players and even those who are bound to be surplus to requirements at WP and Bulls, its an ideal proving ground, as the chances are there for players to play themselves into u19 CC contention via the club system. The same goes for EP now. A shortage of depth plus good coaching in PE means that an unknown out of school who is prepared to forgo the short-term financial reward can use EP as a springboard to a successful senior career down the line. The Leopards setup also offers great opportunities as players get to play against the big unions juniors and be watched by big union officials. It definitely beats sitting in the stands.

  49. @beet: ah yes, apologies I forgot about Nohamba. Agreed on the attractiveness of Durban. The Sharks have some very young players in their Super Rugby squad, guys not even 2 years out of school, like Mukendi. So if you want game time and to be seen Durban is attractive. I remember going to Varsity College with 3 contracted Sharks Juniors in 1998 and they loved it! Shared flat and sponsored car. Free Unisa studies, free gym & pocket money, what else could an 18 year old want. The beach & no winter, also draw cards. Teichmann at the helm provides stability..

  50. @BrotherBear: Not many, but it happens. Nic Groom completed his degree while playing Super Rugby and Currie Cup. I’m inclined to say that they’re outliers.

  51. @BrotherBear: I know of a few at the Lions. But yes ! Not so easy and requires a huge amount of commitment and sacrifice. It takes a whole lot of self discipline to stick to your books when your playing buddies all go out on a jol !

  52. @beet: I think Rudolph Straueli leaving KZN has also affected the recruitment process, he is attracting a lot of talent there. Their success is also helping this. I think Warren Whiteley’s excellent off field demeanor helps too. I think the Lions all look like they having fun!

  53. @Kattes-Strofes: Jol, women and poor diet the bane of many a talented player. Seems that when you study and play, the studies tend to suffer BEFORE the play, but otherwise the balance works.

  54. @Greenman: Great news to hear that JJ is looking likely to join the Sharks after school.

    I confirmed this again today: according to SARU regulation an SA rugby union cannot enter into a formal contract with a player before his 18th birthday. Any agreement signed before the player turns 18 is not binding. There could be repercussions for a union that tries to enforce such an agreement in contravention of the rule. So basically a young player can change his mind and join a different union if he so pleases, provided he hasn’t signed a contract after he’s turns 18.

    Since JJ turns 18 in May, he’s not officially a Sharks signed player yet.

    Hopefully he will become one in May :)

  55. @Greenman: money talks bud….Bulls could offer JJ an offer he simply can’t refuse :wink: ….Sharks need to confirm the move first after he turns 18……

  56. @beet: It will be another Pollard saga….Bulls will just book him several flights to PTA for “meetings” & “interviews”……they will make him a great offer he simply has to accept :mrgreen: …….he’s probably playing musical chairs with you guys in Durban…. :wink:

  57. @Muzi: for his sake & to get good game time I hope he stays at the Sharks who need young locks, Hyron Andrews looks too Skraal for me…

  58. @Grasshopper: Hyron is average he lacks grunt Orie 2.0….Stassen & Van Heerden aren’t even 21 Bulls don’t need JJ this guy should stay in Durban IMHO…..

  59. Jenkins, Loot & RG are young and set in. Anywhere else but the Bulls! Willemse is thriving in France. Du Plessis too.

  60. @Grasshopper: @Muzi: Interesting that you mention Hyron Andrews because he was once a school player that took advantage of the SARU 18 yo criteria. He was all set to join the Bulls and at the eleventh hour changed his mind and signed with the Sharks. The decision has worked out well for him – he’s had a lot more top level game time than he would have at Loftus and has been on a far “luckier” path to the senior rugby than many his age who have experienced the congestion as they attempted to move up the Bulls ranks.

  61. @Muzi: Agreed. The Bulls have an unbelievable junior rugby budget and outstanding facilities.

    I realise that not every rugby parent has the financial means to support their son living away from home after school but those that do have an advantage. They don’t have to fall into the trappings of choosing short term financial benefits over long term success. The latter proves to be far more financially rewarding. A junior player on the rugby field competing against the best is still in a far better position to advance up the ranks than his better paid rival who spends a great deal of his time sitting in the stands watching the matches because he’s surplus to requirements on certain weekends and in some cases on all weekends.

    So ja no question money talks. But when parents help their kids make rugby career decisions they must do their best to make sure that the money keeps on talking. A union that issues plenty of junior contracts is bound to cut a lot more players. So the player that earns say R8000 per month for only 9 months, isn’t necessarily as well off as the guy who gets to play junior rugby for 3 years at R4000 pm, especially when you start weighing in longer term senior rugby prospects.

    Obviously it doesn’t always work out in this simple fashion and one can just as easily argue that if you want to be the best, you have to prove yourself against the best, even if it includes outperforming your position rivals in team squad training.

  62. @Muzi: I see the Bulls are trying Stassen at 7 on the Zim tour. They didn’t do such a great job with Jacques du Plessis there and the jury still out on whether or not Kirsten has been a success in that role. I thought Charles Ollivon played really well for France vs NZ at the end of last year and he’s a 1.99m flank so the opportunity to succeed in that role is there for a taller player. Pieter Step du Toit didn’t do so well vs England but he’s also not a bad option for that role. So we’ll have to see how Stassen goes.

    Van Heerden is a very underrated player. With the SA u20 selection process underway one might assume that De Villiers, Wiese as well as Moerat are the high profile favourites amongst the tall timber but Van Heerden might have something to say about that.

  63. @beet: I actually really rated Jacques Du Plessis as our next Juan Smith, but PSTD could do well there if played there in Super Rugby, not thrown in the deep end on a Friday before a test match. For me a ‘fetcher’ needs to be unearthed or they pay whatever it costs to bring Heinrich Brussouw back to SA. Vellerman, Cloete & Kleyheins are really our only true fetchers, maybe add Kwagga if he plays 15’s. Tight head is another area that concerns me with Julian unlikely to return. Bring back Wors from Munster!

  64. @Hopper … Jannes Kirsten from Bulls and Cloete from province are good fetchers to keep an eye on them

  65. the Guppies need to ensure that the UKZN are playing Varsity Cup – this is where the Lions, Bulls, EP Kings, Cheetahs and WP have an advantage. Even Witsies are back in the Varsity Cup and along with UJ and Pukke provide plenty game time for these juniors. Problem with the Bulls is that these guys often catch splinters all season and lose interest ………..

  66. @Roger: It is a horrible thing that the Bulls do to young men, year after year. At least those who manage to get into a tertiary institution have a chance, and options – those who trek up purely for ruggaz are buggered. Talent pool should be spread – contracting 55 under 19 players should be outlawed, unless a union can provide something of more value than holding tackle bags and sitting on wood for those players who don’t crack the squad.

  67. @Playa: agree 100%. This not only harms the individual who inevitably loses out on individual coaching which I think is key in their first year out of school but also SA rugby as a whole. If these kids are competing for spots in the Baby Bok side then not getting game time will only reduce their chances of being selected.

  68. @Slam: this is where clubs used to fit in, prove yourself at club level and earn your contract. Maybe only 30 given out per year, so it’s an honour to get one!

  69. @Playa: haha, thanks boet. Yeah, just watching club rugby in the UK has shown me the value of a solid base. Those committed guys at club level. There are England scouts even at 2nd team level watching. The joy of the game, banter & comraderie are great to see. These guys are so committed even in freezing conditions training & playing. It could be much easier to vegetate on a couch. Young Saffa players should come here for a season to see how good they have it back home.

  70. @Playa: :lol: :lol: :lol:

    @beet: I hate to bag a player, but I wouldn’t play PSDT in the Bok jersey for at least six months after being sold two dummies in one game v the Poms (effectively the difference between the teams). Would you, as a teammate, be able to trust him on D after that, or would you tend to creep into his channel in case he did it again? Of course, the latter would leave gaps elsewhere. I think he has a great future, but he must get his discipline right on D.

  71. Nice to see Glenwood OB and ex SA Schools Captain Jaco Coetzee in the Stormers squad to tour Zim ?

  72. @Grasshopper: I watched a practice at False Bay Rugby club in April last year and there was a great gees there.

    If I was in charge of SA rugby, I’d limit the top paying professional teams to just six: Sharks, Stormers, Kings, Cheetahs, Lions, and Bulls. The next tier should be clubs, but I’d retain the current club leagues, which are semi-pro but introduce a new regional competition for the super clubs. This would also be full professional and include the likes of False Bay, UP, UJ, Maties, Ikies, College Rovers, Rustenburg Impala, Welkom Rovers, Brakpan, etc. There could be a Coastal league and Northern league, each with about 12 teams. We already have the Gold Cup, but that is at the end of the season. So, I’d do away with that and have this competition take place over the entire duration of the season, with play-offs and eventually a national champion. There could be promotion and relegation to get into it every season. So, six top teams, 24 at the next level and perhaps 100 at the next level.

    Like in NZ, the six top teams should be contracted to SARU and play a similar brand of rugby. Of course, we’d need a strong businessman to run SARU, not a bunch of muppets.

    I think that above could easily be achieved provided the sponsors go along with it. Therefore, a strong, respected CEO with a good board is imperative.

  73. @Vleis: Love that idea, sounds spot on and similar to the UK system. I used to love the Toyota Club Champs back in the day when even Boks like Naas played for their clubs. Talented kids from school can then be drafted into the clubs and prove their metal there with the big boys. If they that good they will go up quickly. That way the lighties can still study and potentially work.

  74. So that in 9 Glenwood Old Boys in the Super Rugby squads;

    1) Warren Whiteley – Lions
    2) John-Roy Jenkinson – Bulls
    3) Shaun Adendorff – Bulls
    4) Ilunga Mukendi – Sharks
    5) Franna Kleynheins – Sharks
    6) Fred Zeilanga – Cheetahs
    7) Zee Mkhabela – Cheetahs
    8) Ntokozo Vidima – Cheetahs
    9) Jaco Coetzee – Stormers

    Not too bad…

  75. @Vleis: In the case of the Youngs dummy, a lazy pillar (Kitshoff) & 3rd defender set too wide (de Allende) sold PSDT down the river. Don’t want to sound too technical, but most D coaches would agree

  76. In spite of the England game PSDT was just about the best Bok player last year. I think he’s the only one who could have made it into the NZ squad on 2016 form. His moving to flank does raise a concern. SA always produced a surplus of good loose forwards. What happened that we now have to convert a lock to a back rower.

    Jacques Du Plessis has great physical attributes but while playing 7 for the Bulls he looked lost a lot of the time.

    @Skopgraaf243: if Roelof Smit is fit I expect him to play openside for the Bulls while Kirsten is considered for the blindside.

    I’m keen to see what Jacques Vermeulen can bring to the party for the Sharks. Hopefully he’s going to develop into a star player.

    I love watching CJ Velleman. I can’t help but wonder what a fit player of his ability could achieve on the international stage. The likes of Hooper and Pocock have their moments at teat level but sometimes it’s the bigger players that have last laugh.

  77. @beet: I’d love to see Velleman in a Lions jersey. The style will suit him perfectly and he will then walk into a Bok squad.

  78. @Die Ken: good call as a replacement for retiring Tecklenburg who should have been a Bok on the end of year tour when we were searching for a fetcher…

  79. @Beet…Jauques du Plessis has yet to prove himself for starting line-up in my books. He is was out of form, and I think the Bulls are looking for positions to play thier contracted players. Nollis Marais also had him playing at lock.
    Versatility is perhaps an option for the team but to the detriment of the player.
    Largely a big problem at school level, force finding that spot for the guys.

  80. @boerboel: don’t agree on Jaco Coetzee, he has a good future if kept fit. A bit like Thomas du Toit, still not standing out enough to make the step up. Seems to have stagnated a bit. For a 107 year old ‘wannabe’ school who started playing rugby in 1911 it isn’t bad.

  81. @Playa: Well done to Pat, hopefully he stays injury free and gets over that heavy knock from CJ Stander that seemed to be hampering him last he played…

  82. @Playa: Flip that’s a great link, almost as good as that Dale tie you made me buy. How many Dale OB’s are in various Provincial Teams. With House, I lost count after Herkie Kruger.

  83. @Bush: Hahahaha…get one for your brother as well.
    At some point,I think about 3 years ago Dale had an old boy in each Super Rugby franchise.I’ll look through the list of teams and see how we’re doing.In the meantime,watch out for Soyizwapi in the Blitzbokke.

  84. @Bush: if you include Old Dalians from KES it’s probably closer to 30. If you added overseas players Glenwood would be closer to 40 or even 50…

  85. hmmmm – from Stoopstats…

    “It’s a crying shame that schools unfairly accused of player-poaching – such as KES (and I was obliged to apologise for suggesting their guilt in this regard) – continue to bear the undeserved stigma of such imappropriate behaviour. Waterkloof themselves have, over the last few years, been so completely rehabilitated that now even Affies are prepared to play them annually.”

    Glad he did apologise eventually – it must have been through gritted teeth :mrgreen:

  86. @Grasshopper: nope – that was when SACS went tilt over Monokali. Parktown are still sulking – you will notice no fixture this year either. They might have to apologise at some point too ……..

  87. @Roger: If a grade 8 learner changes schools within the first 2 weeks is that poaching or just initial ‘wrong’ decision?

  88. @Roger: All I know is both schools approached him. He decided on school B and went there and is now in Monnas which is closer to home. That is all I know. I am glad. He is a very good rugby player. Myself and other people all tried convincing him/family that Monnas will be a better choice last year.

  89. @Hooit: if KES he made a shocking call and you all should be hung drawn and quartered! If Jeppe then good on him – right move – KDorp rulz! :mrgreen:

    No self respecting West Rander would consider St Johns or St Stithians …. surely :roll:

  90. @Roger: New subject. My son had an personal experience with Travis Gordon recently. Big thumbs up to the young man. KES can be very proud to have him. Not going into detail but small acts can accomplish big things. Thanks Travis.

  91. @Hooit: saying you guys not into academics probably OK – your choice. BUT you guys seem extremely politically astute. Please just wash your nose before nighty nite to the wife ;-)

  92. @Hooit: you get a brown nose when “kissing an arse”, unless you have licked it clean ( of course). Then the sweet talk cannot mask the bad breath. I tried to be as litteral as possible – hope it paints the picture.

  93. @BrotherBear: I give compliments when it is due. You have no idea what my son has been through lately and what Travis did for him. I will still thank him for it in person even if it is 6 months down the line. As was the situation last year I will once again not respond to your comments anymore. Luckily I know n few people in Helpmekaar and will not hold your comments against the school. If you know what happened and still made that comment wow then I am speechless. If you do not know you have no right.

  94. @Hooit: great kid – I know his old man fairly well. He will be 1st XV captain this year and we all hoping he stays fit as he has a real shot at captain for the Lions too. Good story and good luck to you and your son

  95. @Hooit: wat kan ek se. Sterkte met die jong man. Ek hoor gister by atletiek die man is uit vir 6 weke. Soos ek en jy al gepraat het is ek seker alles sal goed gaan en word tydperk dan sommer nog korter. Sterkte daar.

  96. @Hooit: so, why not just keep it personal and in private. Lots of good kids out there helping their friends and team mates. You just proved that political astuteness goes a long way. Your nose is now shining like an angel.
    If your son is going through a tough time – good luck to him and may it make him stronger.

  97. @Roger: What would be interesting is if Tony re-examined and shared the reasons why he got it wrong and apologised as you worked it. Was he perhaps misled by someone he trusted to provide him with facts? There are incidents like that one that are not straight forward because they have layers like the one Playa mentions in comment 141 which was not immediately know or shared and the one about a scout or agent that approached the SACS player while on tour that broke at the time of the transfer became news, which now may seem unrelated, but does not change the fact that in other matters of a similar nature there is some sort of material gain to those who facilitate the moves of school players and that reward comes from somewhere.

  98. @Hooit: I now know who you refer to in comment 133. I also know how much convincing it took to get him to make the initial choice so the individuals involved must be pretty bleak …….

    Good luck to him though – bloody good player


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