I almost titled this; “Good Luck counting the numbers of Queens players in this squad, Chumani Bambani!”
Fifty of South Africa’s best Under-16 rugby players have been selected to attend a High Performance Camp in Cape Town early next month, where they will benefit from interaction with some of the best coaches and other sport experts in the country.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) selected the 50 players following the Grant Khomo Under-16 Week, the Coca-Cola Under-18 Craven Week and Under-18 Academy Week earlier this season. The invited players will attend the camp in Paarl from 2-9 October.
The Eastern Province schoolboys selected are; Noel Kapank (Humansdorp), Siya Lawu (Newton Technical High), Peet Schoeman (Marlow), Ernst Stapleton (Framesby), Cyril-John Velleman (Grey), Sintu Manjezi (St Andrews College), Stephan Ebersohn (Grey), Justin Antonie (Pearson). 5 from Port Elizabeth and TWO from Grey, Chumani! Just in case you forgot your calculator at home! One last thing, Mr Handsome; “Did you see that the EP Craven Week Captain, Cyril-John Velleman from GREY, is included in the high performance squad?
SA Under-20 coach Dawie Theron will work closely with the players during the camp, while SARU have also invited other high profile rugby personalities such as Allister Coetzee (former Springbok assistant coach, current DHL Stormers and DHL WP head coach), Chester Williams (former Bok wing and Cats coach), Louis Koen (former Bok flyhalf and current kicking coach), Hanyani Shimange (former Bok hooker) and Ian MacDonald (former Bok flank and current breakdown specialist coach at the Golden Lions) to work with the squad.
Henning Gericke, the Springboks’ mental skills coach between 2004 and 2007, Jill Taylor (life skills coach), Clint Readhead (former Bok physiotherapist and currently involved with BokSmart) and Shelley Meltzer (dietician) will also conduct sessions with the squad.
The national selectors under the leadership of Peter Jooste will also attend the training camp, after which an Under-16 Elite Squad will be selected. These players will be closely monitored and their wellbeing will be indirectly managed by SARU.
According to Herman Masimla, SARU’s Manager of Junior High Performance, training camps like these are important to identify good players early in an effort to help them develop properly with an eye on senior rugby.
In the SA Schools Team 2011, 13 of the players were at SARU’s High Performance Training camp either in 2009 or 2010.
“I have no doubt that some of these boys can go all the way to Absa Currie Cup, Vodacom Super Rugby and even the Springboks in years to come,” said Masimla.
“For us it’s imperative to identify them at an early stage of their careers, so that we can work with them and make sure they go through an important developmental phase in their careers. Apart from rugby specific training, we’ve also invited people like Henning Gericke and Shelley Meltzer to do sessions with the squad, as mental skills and the right eating habits are also very important as these boys develop.”
The squad will assemble in Cape Town at the Sports Science Institute Building in Newlands on Sunday 2 October, after which they will depart for Paarl Gymnasium, where they will stay for the duration of the training camp.
The Entire SA Under-16 High Performance Squad:
Johannes Linde, Justin Phillips, Albertus Behardus Erasmus, Lungelo Dowie, Rudolph G Snyman, Hyron Andrews, Johan van Wyk, Francois Steyn, Xander van Wyk (all Blue Bulls); Chemandre van Schalkwyk (Boland); Jose Shaw, Lungelo Gosa, Abongile Nonkontwana, Thabani Mgugudo (all Border); Noel Kapank (Humansdorp), Siya Lawu (Newton Technical High), Peet Schoeman (Marlow), Ernst Stapleton (Framesby), C J Velleman (Grey), Sintu Manjezi (St Andrews College), Stephan Ebersohn (Grey), Justin Antonie (Pearson) (all Eastern Province); Johan Labushagne (Valke); E W Viljoen, Julian Delicado, Reinhardt Arndt (all Free State); Sechaba Matsoele (Griffons); Matthew Edward, Jean-Luc du Preez, Daniel du Preez, Rogers Zondi, Njabulo Gemede (all KZN); Matjkinyane Nkosinathi Molapo (Limpopo Blue Bulls); Innocent Radebe, Godfrey Ramaboea, Wiehan Jacobs, Vean Roodt, Frans van Wyk (all Golden Lions); Menzi Nhlabathi, Daniel Maartens (both Pumas); Warren Gelant, Remu Malan, Jaco du Toit, Gregory Nel (all SWD); Dewald Naude, Dennis Cox, Graham Geldenhuys, Jacques Vermeulen, Regardt Louw, Lucian Forbes (all Western Province).