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FEATURED

SA Schools stars headline 2016 WPRI intake

PUBLISHED: December 10, 2015



Ten SA Schools stars and a further four SA Academy players will headline the Western Rugby Institute intake for 2016, with both 2015 junior national team captains part of a talented group of players that will make Stellenbosch their home in January of next year.

SA and DHL WP Schools skipper Ernst van Rhyn will follow in the footsteps of Jaco Coetzee (2014 SA Schools captain) and Rikus Botha (2013 SA Schools captain) by making the WPRI his home, with Hilton College’s Matthew Dahl (who captained the SA Academy team at one stage this year) also making his way to Stellenbosch in 2016.

Dahl will be joined by fellow SA Academy starlets, Ryan Muller, Cyprian Nkomo and Cornel Smit at the WPRI next year, with Ashwyn Adams, David Brits, Ruben de Villiers, Zain Davids, Nico Leonard, Carlu Sadie, Johan Visser, Cobus Wiese and Jondré Williams joining Van Rhyn as the Stellenbosch-bound SA Schools players.

As a further bonus, ten of the 14 national Under-18 players all hail from the WP Schools system, with lock Salmaan Moerat, loose forward Khanya Ncusane, flyhalf Damian Willemse, centre Manuel Rass and fullback Joshua Vermeulen – all of whom played at SA Schools or Academy level in 2015 – all still at school next year and thus eligible for the WP Rugby Institute in 2017 only.

“This new intake is an exciting one,” WPRI CEO Jacques Hanekom told the www.wprugby.com website.

“It’s not to say that our previous intakes have not been as strong, but it is hard to argue against the strength of 14 national age-group players choosing to come to the Institute – it’s a huge feather in our cap that these young men want to come to the WPRI and we will certainly be doing our utmost to realise their potential and develop them into Super Rugby and international rugby players.”

2015 Rugby World Cup Springboks, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth and Siya Kolisi, are all WP Rugby Institute graduates as this top-level rugby programme heads into its 10th year of existence, having also produced new stars like Jacques Vermeulen, JD Schickerling, Daniel du Plessis (centre), Johnny Kotze, Dillyn Leyds, Cheslin Kolbe and Leolin Zas – to name just a few – of late.

Hanekom said: “Western Province is not afraid to give its young players an opportunity at the highest levels – it’s scary to think that players like Frans, Eben and Siya have their best rugby ahead of them still!

“We’re obviously proud of how far those aforementioned players have come in such a short space of time, but we’re also very proud of the fact that WP has won six Under-19 or Under-21 national trophies since 2010.

“It proves that the WPRI training programme is working well, but, crucially, it proves that our talent identification and recruitment is getting things right more often than not.

“Rugby remains our core focus, of course,” added Hanekom, “but we’re also excited about our new formal self-learning curriculum called TRITIME. We aim to not only upskill our players from a rugby point of view but also for life through self-education, job-shadowing, networking and other sources of studies.”

As usual, the new WPRI intake will eat, drink and sleep rugby at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport, with the first half of the year being focused on their fitness and (in some cases) rehabilitation, before the players are made available to the 2015 Western Province age-group teams that compete in South Africa’s junior provincial competitions.

Of course, the WP Rugby Institute will continue to work closely with the WP Rugby Academy (WPRA) which opened its doors in 2014 and has already added a huge amount of depth to the DHL WP Under-19 and Under-21 teams.

“We have been working closely with the WPRA for two years now and it’s added considerably to the depth of WP Rugby,” enthused Hanekom.

“As much as you would like to sign every schoolboy player with talent, it is not possible, but the WP Rugby Academy gives all those aspiring another opportunity to get into the system and to show their worth.”

THE 2016 WESTERN PROVINCE RUGBY INSTITUTE INTAKE:
(In alphabetical order)

Ashwyn Adams (Rondebosch BHS) – Prop*
Stephan Annandale (Paul Roos Gimnasium) – Prop
Juarno Augustus (Tygerberg HS) – Loose forward
Imraan Andrews (Rondebosch BHS) – Loose forward
David Brits (Selborne College) – Centre*
Jordan Chait (SACS) – Flyhalf
Ruben de Villiers (Paarl BHS) – Lock*
Zain Davids (Rondebosch BHS) – Loose forward/Centre*
Matthew Dahl (Hilton College) – Scrumhalf**
Shane Farmer (Tygerberg HS) – Hooker
Jandré Grobler (Paarl Boys’ High) – Flyhalf
Wikus Groenewald (Paarl BHS) – Prop
Munier Hartzenberg (Ranger MIT) – Wing
George Lourens (Paarl Gim) – Utility back
Nico Leonard (Paul Roos) – Wing*
Tristan Leyds (Bishops) – Fullback
Lee-Marvin Mazibuko (Michaelhouse) – Prop
Ryan Muller (Bellville HS) – Wing/fullback**
Reitumetse Mogojo (SACS) – Wing
Xolile Mdlokovana (St Andrews) – Utility back
David Meihuizen (Paarl Boys’ High) – Lock
Thomas Meyer (Monument HS) – Loose forward/Lock
Ricky Nwagbara (Jeppe) – Loosehead prop
Cyprian Nkomo (Hoërskool Middelburg) – Centre**
Marco Niemandt (EG Jansen) – Centre
Troy Payne (Paul Roos) – Utility back
Joel Paarwater (Bishops) – Loose forward
Brandon Salomo (Bishops) – Scrumhalf
Cornel Smit (Bishops) – Centre**
Bertus Smith (Boland Landbou) – Prop
Joa Swart (Paul Roos) – Loose forward/Lock
Jordan Sesink Clee (Michaelhouse) – Lock
Carlu Sadie (Bellville HS) – Prop*
Johan Visser (Paarl Gim) – Flank*
Ernst van Rhyn (Paarl Gim) – Lock/Loose forward*
Adriaan van der Bank (Worcester Gim) – Flyhalf
Dean van Tonder (Paul Roos) – Loose forward
Etienne van Dyk (Hoërskool Lutzville) – Hooker
Herman van Dyk (Overberg HS) – Fullback
Cobus Wiese (Upington HS) – Loose forward*
Jondré Williams (Boland Landbou) – Scrumhalf*
Matthew Wiseman (Michaelhouse) – Hooker
Kuyenzeka Xaba (Glenwood HS) – Loose forward
Stephan Annandale (Paul Roos Gimnasium) – Prop
Jandré Grobler (Paarl Boys’ High) – Flyhalf
David Meihuizen (Paarl Boys’ High) – Lock

* SA Schools
** SA Academy