Thirty Craven Week players, five of whom played for the 2014 SA Schools team, and nine regular Under-19 First XV (or higher) captains from 2014 will form part of an exciting 2015 Western Province Rugby Institute intake.
With the WPRI already having produced the likes of DHL Stormers and/or Springbok stars Scarra Ntubeni, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Nizaam Carr, Cheslin Kolbe and Juan de Jongh in recent seasons, there is plenty of excitement surrounding the announcement of the Class of 2015.
Five members of the 2014 SA Schools team – including captain and No.8 Jaco Coetzee – have chosen to join the WPRI in Stellenbosch, along with the 2013 Craven Week Player of the Year, Grant Hermanus, who featured for the cup-winning DHL Western Province Under-19 team in 2014, and another Paarl Gym star, lock Jaco Willemse (a WP representative in the 2014 SA Schools squad).
The 2015 WPRI squad is made of 75% local talent, with the likes of Coetzee (Glenwood), Michael Kumbirai (St Albans College), Eduard Zandberg (Outeniqua) and Eduan Keyter (Affies) – all members of the 2014 SA Schools team – joining from outside the borders of the Western Cape.
It is the second year in a row that an SA Schools skipper has chosen to further his career at the WP Rugby Institute, with Jaco Coetzee following in the footsteps of Rikus Bothma, who captained the DHL WP Under-19 team to the 2014 Absa Provincial U19 title.
Paul Roos centre Edrich Venter, who captained the DHL WP Under-18 team in 2014, is another young leader who is part of the 2015 intake, whilst lock Eduard Zandberg captained the SA Schools team against England this year – all of which, crucially, will add to the Institute’s leadership options next year.
WPRI CEO Jacques Hanekom told www.wprugby.com: “Rikus Bothma proved in 2014 (for the successful DHL WP U19 team) how important leadership is in rugby and, of course, we needn’t look further at the impact that Jean de Villiers has had on the Springboks (as captain) since 2012.
“Nine members of our new intake either captained at First XV or Craven Week level in 2014 – it’s crucial to have and to groom young leaders in a game like rugby and it’s exciting to welcome so many quality leaders into our next intake.
“As per last year’s intake, when we had five SA Schools players from outside of the Cape joining us, it’s nice to know that players from outside our region are choosing the Western Province Rugby Institute above other institutions – it says a lot about the work we have been doing here, the success-rates (here) and the belief all players have in the WPRI.”
The majority of the players are carefully identified and then invited to join the WPRI, whilst applications are also considered, both locally and from overseas, with scrumhalf Max Johnson (Leicester/Northampton Junior), flyhalf Ed Coulson (England Under-19) and wing Robrecht Bruneel (Lille Rugby Under-21) adding some international flavour in 2015.
“There is a lot to be excited about at WP Rugby, given that our Under-19 and Senior teams won trophies and the Under-21s went down narrowly in their final, but it’s becoming a common trend for our young players, almost fresh out of the Institute, to get – and take – playing opportunities at senior level,” said Hanekom.
“We look forward to working with this new intake and we will do our utmost to help this exciting group develop even more – as players and as people.”
The WP Rugby Institute will continue to work closely with the WP Rugby Academy (WPRA) which opened its doors in Tokai in 2014 and boasted an impressive intake in year one.
“Not only did the WPRA help to increase the depth of the 2014 DHL WP Under-19 team, but it’s given an opportunity to (even) more aspiring players, who are also able to combine their studies with their rugby commitments thanks to the buy-in from Varsity College and False Bay College,” concluded the WPRI CEO.
THE 2015 WESTERN PROVINCE RUGBY INSTITUTE INTAKE:
Ruan Brits (Paarl Boys’ High School)
Percy Mngadi (Glenwood)
Jacques van Zyl (Paul Roos)
Adriaan Geldenhuys (Paarl Gym)
Jerome Korff (Paul Roos)
Michael Kumbirai (St Albans College)
Derick Marais (Paarl Boys’ High School)
Carl Prinsloo (Paul Roos)
Ruben Terblanche (Grey Bloem)
FC Jansen van Rensburg (Bredasdorp High School)
Human Bodenstein (Affies)
Emil Cloete (Paul Roos)
Gary Porter (Michaelhouse)
Jaco Willemse (Paarl Gym)
Eduard Zandberg (Outeniqua)
Iver Aanhuizen (Klein Nederburg)
Saud Abrahams (Bishops)
Mitchell Carstens (Paul Roos)
Mervano da Silva (Bishops)
CF du Toit (Paarl Boys’ High School)
Jacques Oosthuizen (Paul Roos)
Jaco Coetzee (Glenwood)
HJ Luus (Paarl Gym)
Daniël Maree (Oakdale)
Zandré de Koker (Paarl Gym)
Paul de Wet (Paarl Boys’ High School)
Herschell Jantjies (Paul Roos)
Max Johnson (Trent College, UK)
Dennis Cox (Excelsior)
Ed Coulson (Sherborne School, UK)
Robbie Petzer (Noord-Kaap)
Michael Andrade (Grey Bloem)
Frans Botha (Nylstroom)
Carlton Fortune (Boland Landbou)
Justin Heunis (Bishops)
Christiaan Smit (Paul Roos)
Edrich Venter (Paul Roos)
Robrecht Bruneel (Ghent University, Belgium)
Grant Hermanus (Paarl Gym)
Wayne Parker (Pretoria Boys’ High School)
Gerard Pieterse (Bishops)
Duncan Saal (Kasselsvlei)
Edwill van der Merwe (Paul Roos)
Aidynn Cupido (Paul Roos)
Eduan Keyter (Affies)
Tiaan Swanepoel (Stellenberg)