EP U18, U16 rugby squads named for annual Coca Cola Youth Weeks

BY MARC JACOBSON - JUNE 9, 2016

Eastern Province have announced their U16 Grant Khomo squad, as well as the U18 Academy, U18 Country Districts and U18 Craven Week rugby sides to take part at the Coca Cola Craven Week – held at Kearsney College in Durban from 11th – 16th July.

The U16 Coca Cola Grant Khomo week will be held at Paarl Gymnasium in Paarl from the 4th – 8th July.

Eastern Province as a whole have named three teams for the annual U18 Craven Week. The EP Country Districts team will pitch players representing the district towns of the province, while the EP Academy team is depicted as the second string side representing the Metropolitan of the province – with the EP Craven Week side being the first string side.

SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux, said in a statement that the new structure of the Youth Weeks will reap several benefits with regards to the different inter-provincial age group platforms.

“The biggest benefit is that we will be able to ensure that the Mobi-Unit coaches, the national selectors, our High Performance staff and the SA Rugby Academy Coaches will be able to attend all the tournaments,” Roux said.

“Another advantage is that player education with regards to our rugby pathways, safety campaigns, referee recruitment programmes and contracting could be done simultaneously with both groups of players,” added Roux.

Roux reiterated that this structure will also create an atmosphere and festival of rugby at each venue for the different age groups with a combination of comradery and action from start to finish for family, supporters and players.

The EP Craven week match-23 side boasts nine players from Grey High and seven players from Framesby respectively, with the U16 Grant Khomo match-23 also containing nine Grey High representatives and six Framesby representatives.

Seven 2015 EP Craven Week players will be returning to the fold for the 2016 Craven Week side, namely: fullback Riaan van Rensburg (Framesby), wing Sihle Njezula (Grey High), scrumhalf Louis Strydom (Framesby), No 8 Kwezi Mafu (Grey High), lock Ruben le Roux (Framesby), flyhalf Lubabalo Dobela (Grey High) and wing Khanyo Mafunda (Grey High).

Two of last year’s Academy Week players have been promoted to the Craven Week side for this year’s edition, namely: centre Aya Oliphant (Grey High) and lock Donovan Stevens (Die Brandwag). In addition, three players who were a part of the U16 Grant Khomo Week side last year have moved up a notch to this year’s U18 Craven Week side, namely: hookers Viaan Wolmarans (Framesby) and Ruan Jonker (Grey High) and prop Le Klue Stokes (Die Brandwag).

EP Craven Week match-23: 15 Riaan van Rensburg (Framesby), 14 Sihle Njezula (Grey High), 13 Aya Oliphant (Grey High), 12 Sicelo Tole (Muir), 11 Aya Matroos (Grey High), 10 Keegan Tait (Framesby), 9 Louis Strydom (Framesby), 8 Khwezi Mafu (Grey High), 7 Tertius Groenewald (Grey High), 6 Zane Barnard (Brandwag), 5 William Duckitt (Framesby), 4 Ruben le Roux (Framesby), 3 Ettiene Janneke (Nico Malan), 2 Viaan Wolmarans (Framesby), 1 Stefan van der Poel (Framesby). Subs: 16 Ruan Jonker (Grey High), 17 Roelof Roodt (Framesby), 18 Le Klue Stokes (Die Brandwag), 19 Donovan Stevens (Die Brandwag), 20 Gregan Glover (Nico Malan), 21 Lubabalo Dobela (Grey High), 22 Khanya Mafunda (Grey High), 23 Waqar Solaan (Grey High).

EP Academy Week match-23: 15 Dylan le Roux (Daniel Pienaar), 14 Romario McCarthy (Nico Malan), 13 Curtley Deysel (Daniel Pienaar), 12 Julian Kleyn (Framesby), 11 Lindsay Potgieter (Framesby), 10 Jayron Draghoender (Nico Malan), 9 Berdré Jonck (Nico Malan), 8 Armandt Pretorius (Nico Malan), 7 Desmick Kleinbooi (Framesby), 6 Leonardo Tshingana (Cillié), 5 Braam Breyers (Die Brandwag), 4 Ruan Botha (DF Malherbe), 3 Carl Senyane (Framesby), 2 Dylan Minaar (Humansdorp), 1 Henco Nel (Kirkwood). Subs: 16 Oyayama Mgesisi (Victoria Park), 17 Janu Fourie (Nico Malan), 18 Shane Kluyts (Kirkwood), 19 Landile Mlonzi (Pearson), 20 Elandré Smit (Die Brandwag), 21 Ethan Jantjies (Newton), 22 Henco Pieterse (Die Brandwag), 23 Rodwill Plaaitjies (Pearson).

EP Country Districts match-23: 15 Chulumani Chutu (Union High), 14 Athi Halom (Kingswood), 13 Lutho Nmomyi (Kingswood), 12 Mat Moore (St Andrew’s), 11 Tim Bloem (St Andrew’s), 10 Vaughen Isaacs (Marlow), 9 CJ Conradie (Volkskool Graaff-Reinet), 8 Olie Losaba (Kingswood), 7 Dihan Odendaal (Aliwal-Noord), 6 Lourens Oosthuizen (Marlow), 5 Stefan Mentz (Marlow), 4 Keanan Murray (Marlow), 3 Sazi Sandi (St Andrew’s), 2 Johan Maartens (Burgersdorp), 1 Thembi Mangwana (Kingswood). Subs: 16 Bongi Siya (Union High), 17 Franco Dreyer (Volkskool Graaff-Reinet), 18 Evan Pieters (Kingswood), 19 Hentus Botha (Volkskool Graaff-Reinet), 20 JJ Human (Marlow), 21 Jonathan Cranckshaw (Union High), 22 Renier Meyer (Burgersdorp), 23 Siba Mzanywa (Kingswood).

EP Grant Khomo Week match-23: 15 Luan Smuts (Marlow), 14 Heinrich van Rooyen (Gelvandale), 13 Luke Smuts (Grey High), 12 John Wilhelm Smalberger (Grey High), 11 Enrique Franks (Grey High), 10 Claude Jacobs (Marlow), 9 Adrian Gouza (Gelvandale), 8 Ryan Adams (Grey High), 7 Henry du Toit (Nico Malan), 6 Calvin Kanunego (Victoria Park), 5 Rohan Kruger (Aliwal-Noord), 4 Lakan Gray (Grey High), 3 Shaquile Adams (Grey High), 2 Hlumelo Gumatana (Marlow), 1 Luther Greef (Marlow). Subs: 16 Corné Slabbert (Grey High), 17 Roche van As (Framesby), 18 Elden Lotz (Despatch), 19 Danie Naude (Aliwal-Noord), 20 Ryan Windvogel (Linkside), 21 Emile Stevens (Newton Tech), 22 Phiwe Marlow (HVS), 23 Renaldo Pedro (Grey High).   

Image: EP Craven Week side against SWD at the 2014 annual Craven Week, where they last won the tournament.