Bulls u19’s to open their 2018 campaign against Province

Twelve of the fifteen Bulls run-on starters versus the Sunwolves in last weekend’s Super Rugby match came through the union’s junior structures. Hard working recruiter Xander Janse van Rensburg has again provided the Pretoria based union with an ideal platform to challenge for an under-19 Currie Cup title this season, as well as working towards the far more important objective of junior rugby, which is to provide the senior team with quality professionals down the line and thereby justify the development costs forked out.

As a schoolboy Affies tighthead prop James Combrinck generated a lot of excitement about his future potential. He could quite easily be a star in the making. Scattered throughout the team are a number of his Affies Witbulle teammates who have opportunity to grow their reputations as difference makers on the pitch.

No doubt the John Mitchell blueprint would have filtered down to the under-19 coaches and with that is bound to come more intelligent dynamic backline play to compliment the dominating power game that this under-19 Bulls squad can deliever up front. There are some twinkle-toes in the form of high profile players like Andrew Kota and Sebastian Jobb out wide to take full advantage, but also some assertive players like big Oakdale Bull Jay-cee Nel in midfield. The Bulls will however have to make do without halfback pairing of Helpmekaar’s underrated Ruhan Viviers and Nelspuit’s SA Schools pivot Stephan van der Bank.

Historically opponents at under-19 level don’t come any tougher than Western Province, who just about always put together a formidable team heaped with talent. If the Bulls can get off to a winning start away from home in this the big game of round one of the under-19 championship, it could set them up for the remainer of the season.


1 Kudzai Dube Muir
2 Johan van Zyl Affies
3 James Combrinck Affies
4 Janko Swanepoel Stellenberg
5 Louis Meiring Outeniqua
6 Philip Potgieter Affies
7 Jaco Labuschagne Affies
8 Orateng Koikanyang St Alban’s
9 Lian du Toit Oakdale
10 Vaughan Isaacs Marlow
11 Rune Lucas Robinson
12 Jay-Cee Nel Oakdale
13 Marnus Potgieter Affies
14 Sebastian Jobb Duineveld
15 Andrew Kota Welkom Gim
16 Llewellyn Classen Pretoria BH
17 Wiehan Bezuidenhout Affies
18 Carl Els Affies
19 Dylan Kruger Glenwood
20 Johan Mulder Affies
21 Gerswin Mouton Namibia
22 Ruben Beytell EG Jansen
23 Keanu Prinsloo Garsfontein


  1. Bulls have a great squat with exceptional depth. Do not have as many SA school players as some of other unions but these men have something to prove.
    Then we know how good Nollis Marais is with young men. I believe this will be one of the top teams this year.

  2. Janko is great.

    Ek weet nie of die Bulls se vertoning teen die Sunwolves gebruik moet word om Xander se lofliedere te sing nie – dit was ‘n slegte vertoning gewees.

    Ek is bly om te sien dat daar darem nou nog ‘n rugbyskool naas Affies in Pta is – St Albans. 8-O

  3. @Rainier:

    Glo jy dat Xander dalk die probleem is? Volgens my ‘n ou wat baie talentvolle spelers na Bulle toe gelok het oor die jare.

  4. @chief: Daarmee stem ek saam – maar die stront teen die muur vas gooi benadering by die Bulle is vir my belaglik.

    Veral manne soos Rohan JV Rensburg, Francios Venter en vele ander… :lol:

  5. @Rainier:

    Ek hoor wat jy sê, ek glo die Bulle sit maar ongelooflik baie druk op hom met sy “salary caps”.

  6. @Rainier: Ek sal ook like om elke jaar 60 ouens te kan sign met die grootste budget in die land. Reken ek sal ook nou en dan goeie manne te kan sign.

  7. @CharlesZA: stem met jou 100% saam, daar moet dalk gekyk word hoeveel seuns se drome hy verpletter het. Die dag wat iemand hom laat gaan is die dag wat die bulle weer n krag sal word.

  8. @pietretief: Ek sal graag wil hoor hoe Xander seuns se drome verpletter het? Ek sie dit heel anders. Dink eerder hulle gee n klomp manne kans om deel te word van rugby na skool wat miskien nerens anders n geleentheid sou gehad het nie.
    Jy is nou deel van n groep wat hard moet werk as jy een van die starting 15 wil wees. Dit niks met Xander uit ye waai nie. Hy het jou da gekry nou is bal in jou hande.
    Dan sover my kennis strek is slegs 32 spelers gekontrakteur. Die res kry players agreement. Groot verskil. Dink bv die Lions doen dieselfde.
    Miskien is ek net nie mooi ingelig nie so se maar asb.

  9. @chief: beloftes wat gemaak word en nie na gekom word nie, kontrakte wat aangebied is en dan op 99 terug getrek word. Word gesê daar gaan byvoorbeeld slegs 3 skrumskakels wees dan daag daar 6 op. Daar was in die begin van die jaar 70 0/19 spelers by die bulle. Lions kontrakteur nie eers 30 nie en dan kyk hulle by die kleiner unies na spelers indien hulle iets gemis het. Gaan praat met n paar “ouer” spelers by die unie dan kry jy hulle opinie wat gebeur wanneer dit by kontrak onderhandelings kom.

  10. I looked at the Lions vs EP result and it occurred to me that a missing ingredient is the opportunities. EP has been so badly managed that players do not want to risk joining them. Players would rather go to the Bulls or elsewhere. That includes E/Cape schooled players. From a strength vs strength point of view, the u19 system would be better served if the Bulls were allowed to enter a B team in the competition. That would allow them to contract 70 and utilise 70 instead of having to cut 20 or so or whatever the number was of players before the u19 season even starts. The Bulls B team would be far more competitive that the EP team. No team will learn anything by walking over EP this season. This while 20 or so players who are good enough to compete at this level have to watch matches from the stands.

  11. @beet:

    Het jy dalk al die O/19 resultate? Ek verstaan dat OP swak is maar ek twyfel of Bulle 70 van die beste spelers in die land koop.

  12. @chief: I’ve created a blog for the u19 championship now.
    WP 27 – 31 Bulls (Die Blou led 19-3 at the break and had an astonishing 6 yellow cards in 70 minutes while Die Lekker Dinge had none 8-O )
    GL 104 – 12 EP
    FS 48 – 19 Leo

    My argument above is not so much about the Bulls having the best as it is about the Bulls having better players at their disposal. I’m confident that if those sacked before the season Bulls joined EP, many of them would command match day 23 places and the new look EP would be a more competitive team. Worded differently, I believe the Bulls u19 B team with the 20 or so players no longer on their books would beat EP by a handy margin.

    With regards to the Bulls

  13. @Rainier: In Xanders defense it looks like the other unions did do much better when it comes to giving Pretoria schools boys contracts.

  14. @beet: I watched the Lions vs EP game and it was quite apparent that the EP lads had received no or limited coaching. Lineouts were a shamble. Their defensive lines were nonexistent. With ball in hand they tried to take on the much larger Lions forwards – to their dispair. Late in the game they got 2 backline tries (although by that time Lions had taken their foot of the pedal). Most top tier schools would easily beat this EP team. How can SARU allow this to happen?
    I agree that top unions could field more than one team and be competitive.
    Cravenweek seems to have listened to the blog – at least ;-)

  15. @pietretief: Ek neem aan jy het my post hierbo gelees.
    Dink ouers en spelers moet leer om pertinente vrae te vrae.
    Hoeveel spelers kom in posisie, wie is hulle ens ens.
    Ek het en dit is vir my gegee.
    Ouers hou soms daarvan om n ekstra stertjie by tevoeg. Feite nie altyd korrek nie.
    Dink die man word vir baie goed blameer. Van hulle seker met reg ander nie.
    Maar kom ons wees nou eerlik met onself. As jy die beste wil wees moet jy beter wees as die beste.
    Somtyds moet ouers en kinders hul verwagtinge bietjie vierkantig in oë kyk.
    En ja daar is altyd n uitsondering op die reel.

  16. @BrotherBear: I watched EP take on the Sharks at Kings Park in round 2 last year and felt the same way. It was EP’s 2nd game and they gave the debutant Sharks a full go in the first half but in truth the quality suggested that both would have succumbed to one of the Top 10 school of 2017, which is hardly ideal, as u19 provincial is meant to be a step up in all respects.

    It’s a real pity because a few years back EP defied the odds and won the u19 title. It was a combination of excellent coaching, correct selections and the ideal balance of talent, hard work players capable of delivering. The union had a plan and were executing it very well. Even now there is so much opportunity in EP with Pro14 rugby and the exposure it could bring a young player who gets fast tracked to the top.

    But the wheels have once again come off at that union. SA rugby can ill afford it. We need contributors / value adders / good financial managers in place and we need our best players who want to further their careers in rugby after school to be given the best opportunities. If SARU based Pro14 in the Noordvaal, using the Leopards, Valke or Pumas instead of EP, they might end up with a stronger and financially better off system. If a very central base like the Valke was used, surplus players from the Bulls and Lions plus the major universities could roped in to form a useful team for u19 CC. And I’m sure those EP players worthy of contracts would obtain them and be able to play in an environment where there is a solid defined path to the top. Right now it must be extremely difficult to stay motivated at EP.

  17. @beet:

    Miskien moet SARU begin met ‘n “loan system” soos sokker. Bulle kan dan spelers leen vir ‘n swak unie soos OP.

  18. @beet: Ek vestaan die ding ook nie mooi. Hoekom stuur n ouer sy seun AHS toe as daar 90 CW manne daar in gr 8 opdaag.Die talent word nie reg vesprei nie(tot nadeel van rugby in die geheel) miskien het die f%K UP regeering its beet met die voedings areas ding?


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