SARU has announced the SA Schools squad of 28 players after a set of trial matches at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park on Saturday.
South Africa’s best schoolboy players will be in action in three internationals against European opposition in August when they face the Under-18 teams of England, Wales and France.
Blue Bulls prop Pierre Schoeman is the captain and SA Under-20 flyhalf Handre Pollard the vice-captain. The 28-man SA Schools squad was selected from an initial group of 50 players chosen after the recent Coca-Cola Under-18 Craven Week in Port Elizabeth.
Peter Jooste, convener of the national selectors, said he was satisfied with the group of talented young players.
“These players were selected following their consistent good performances during the Coca-Cola Under-18 Craven Week. The final selection was very difficult because we had so many good players in the enlarged group of 50 players.
“The selectors are therefore satisfied that we have selected the best possible SA Schools squad. The pathway that we now have in place is a strong indication us that our High Performance programme is starting to bear fruit.
“They will now get the chance to show their ability against international opposition and to play themselves into contention for call-up to the SA Under-20 trials which will start in November.”
There are ten Blue Bulls in the squad, four fromKwaZulu-Natalwhile Boland andWesternProvincehave three representatives each.
The SA Schools international fixtures are: 10 Aug vs.France–Wellington
14 Aug vs. Wales – George
18 Aug vs.England- venue tbc
The SA Schools squad:
Aidon Davis (Eastern Province)
Daniel du Preez (KwaZulu-Natal)
Jean-Luc du Preez (KwaZulu-Natal)
Francois Esterhuizen (Boland)
Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg (Blue Bulls)
Gideon Koegelenberg (Boland)
Wilco Louw (Boland)
Thabo Mabuza (Blue Bulls)
Malcolm Marx (Golden Lions)
Ox Nche (Free State)
Abongile Nonkontwana (Blue Bulls)
JD Schickerling (Western Province)
Pierre Schoeman (Blue Bulls, captain)
Chad Solomon (Western Province)
Dayan van der Westhuizen (Blue Bulls)
Jano Venter (Pumas)
Ryno Eksteen (Blue Bulls)
Warrick Galant (SWD)
Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Blue Bulls)
Jesse Kriel (KwaZulu-Natal)
Sandile Khubeka (KwaZulu-Natal)
Jurie Linde (Blue Bulls)
Matjikinyane Molapo (Blue Bulls)
Sergeal Petersen (Eastern Province)
Justin Phillips (Blue Bulls)
Handre Pollard (Western Province, vice-captain)
Akhona Sihunu (Border)
Duhan van der Merwe (SWD)
Team Manager: David Coert (Boland)
Head Coach: Chris October (Western Province)