More than 120 of the top Under-16 and Under-17 players in the country will assemble in the Western Cape for two week-long Elite Player Development (EPD) camps, from Sunday 22 September to Saturday 28 September, in line with SA Rugby’s development pathway to groom them for the future.
Sixty players will participate in the U16 camp at Paarl Gymnasium, and 64 players will converge on Hugenote High School in Wellington for the U17 camp.
Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux, SA Schools coach Mzwakhe Nkosi and his SA Schools A counterpart Phiwe Nomlomothe, will also attend the camps, while selected schools coaches, strength and conditioning coaches and medical staff have also been invited.
The main objectives of the camps are to assess the players’ physical and technical abilities, and to expose the participating coaches to SA Rugby’s EPD structures with the vision of ensuring collaboration with them.
“The EPD camps form a vital cog in our player development and strategic transformation structures, as these young players are the future of the game,” said Rassie Erasmus, Director of Rugby.
“These camps offer us the opportunity to expose the players to our structures and work with them from a young age, and to guide them in terms of what takes to achieve national honours in future.
“It is the culmination of a lot of hard work behind the scenes as our talent identification process starts at the age of the 15 years old, and we track the players throughout their school careers and until Under-20 level.
“It is also beneficial for us to have some of the school coaches and support staff at such initiatives as it also allows us to expose to our structures, which is important as we need to work together to pave the way for the players to advance through the ranks. Over and above that it creates a platform for the identification and development of our SA Schools coaches and management.”
Erasmus added: “Several players who were invited to these camps in the past went on to represent the SA Schools team in the U18 International Series, the Junior Springboks in the World Rugby U20 Championship, the Springboks and the Springbok Sevens team, including the likes of Handré Pollard, Damian Willemse and Zain Davids, which is a testament to the success of this programme.”
U16 EPD squad:
Props – Roger Petersen (Monument), Phatu Ganyane (Glenwood), Dian Heunis (Oakdale Landbou), Jason Adam Johnson (Paul Roos Gymnasium), Corne Lavagna (Paarl Gymnasium), Kevin Lock (Menlopark), Thansville Mayman (Garsfontein), Tshiriletso Noko (Litchtenburg).
Hookers - Bryce Calvert (Westville), Gustav Laubscher (Boland Landbou), Qhawe Mbatha (Noordheuwel), Michael Pieterse (Heidelberg Volkskool).
Locks - Dante Burger (Paarl Boys High), Kwakanya Kamteni (Queens), Coetzee le Roux (Paarl Boys High), Francois Oosthuizen (Menlopark), Jannes Potgieter (Hilton College), Luca Ribbens (Paarl Boys High).
Loose forwards – Riekerd Bornman (Dr Malan), Paul de Villiers (Oakdale Landbou), Jan-Hendrik Gouws (Graaf Reinet), Nicholas Hatton (Hilton College), Phillip Kleynhans (Oakdale Landbou), Gcinokuhle Mdletshe (Glenwood), Bradley Mokwena (Ben Vorster), Olebogeng Nhlapho (Parktown Boys), Abulele Ndabambi (Paarl Boys High), Gerrit Ockerse (Glenwood), Cornelius Smit (Grey College), Tristan van Dyk (Paul Roos Gymnasium), Ghudian van Reenen (Worcester Gimnasium).
Scrumhalves – Leighton Horn (Affies), Mogamad Khan (Bishops), Michael Koch (Paarl Gymnasium), Neil le Roux (Oakdale Landbou).
Flyhalves – Regan Izak (Grey College), Layron Wilborrow (Glenwood), Pieter Smith (Grey College), Compion von Ludiwg (Paarl Boys High).
Centres – Dendre Aucamp (Voortrekker), Wian Faber (Menlopark), Roger Heath (Glenwood), Ryan Manuel (Glenwood), Quewinn Nortje (Affies), Simeon Oosthuizen (Oakdale Landbou), Waldo van der Berg (Monument), Hanno Wessels (Durbanville).
Outside backs – Joshua Africa (Paul Roos Gymnasium), Percy Basson (HTS Drostdy), Diego Cupido (Helpmekaar), Suleiman Hartzenberg (Bishops), Wihaan Hendricks (Upington), Hakeem Kunene (Paarl Boys High), Katlego Letebele (KES), Kelly Mpeku (KES), Dillon Oppelt (Garsfontein), Bevan Simons (Paul Roos Gymnasium), Gershwone Smith (Aliwal), Keagan Smith (Paarl Boys High), Nayen Solomons (HTS Drostdy).
U17 EPD squad:
Props – Fernnin Arendse (Swartland), Sebastian Lombard (Paarl Boys High), Phillip Masango (Wynberg), Oscar Myataza (Hudson Park), Tielman Niewoudt (Grey College), Lumla Nunu (Rondebosch), Sipho Nzoto (Middleburg), Heiko Pohlman (Monument), Friedrich Weilbach (Paul Roos Gymnasium), Phumelelo Xego (Westville).
Hookers - Keagan Blackenberg (Bishops), Ricardo Fourie (Grey College), Tiaan Lange (Menlopark), Sikholise Nanto (Glenwood), Lukanyo Vokozela (Rondebosch).
Locks - Rynhardt Crous (Paarl Gymnasium), Marco de Witt (Boland Landbou), Connor Evans (Bishops), Henk Gouws (Glenwood), Reinhardt Ludwig (Affies), Cornelius Rahl (Oakdale).
Loose forwards – Eric Basson (Paarl Gymnasium), Testimony Dodo (Westville), Renzo du Plessis (Ben Vorster), Kibongo Guy-Flury (Pretoria Tech), Cameron Hanekom (Paarl Boys High), Armand Maritz (Paul Roos Gymnasium), Rynhard Mouton (Monument), Holiday Ndlovuyo (Welkom Gimnasium), Louw Nel (Paarl Gymnasium), Siyambuka Nongiza (Maritzburg College), Carl-Evert Pienaar (Welkom Gimnasium), Willie Potgieter (Affies), Hardus Rothman (Garsfontein), Josh van Vreden (Selborne College), Sisonke Vumazonke (Grey College).
Scrumhalves – Rowan Cloete (Garsfontein), Bradely Davids (Paarl Gymnasium), Juan Olivier (Grey College), Nico Steyn (Glenwood).
Flyhalves – Sihlalo Benge (Queens), Kian Davis (Rondebosch), Benedict Human (Welkom Gimnasium), Franco Knoetze (Grey College), Sacha Mngomezulu (Bishops).
Centres – John du Toit (Paarl Gymnasium), Ethan James (Paarl Gymnasium), Josh Jonas (Hudson Park), Mnqobi Mkhize (Westville), Mbasa Nkonki (Westville), Albertus Sadie (Garsfontein), Melbirt van der Spuy (Helpmekaar), Brandon Wilkie (Framesby).
Outside backs – Luke Burger (Paul Roos Gymnasium), Paschal Ekeji (Grey College), Curwin Gertse (Paarl Boys High), Herchelle Goodman (Monument), Matthew Jacobs (Paarl Gymnasium), Duran Koevort (SACS), Latica Nela (Hilton College), Tinotenda Signe (Oakdale), Sonwabo Sokoyi (Grey College), Adrian Swartz (Paarl Gymnasium), Keanan Wentzel (Boland Landbou), Siviwe Zondani (Grey High).