An amazing statistic to come out of the line-ups for this weekend’s clash between the Sharks and the Cheetahs: no fewer than 12 of the 44 players on show attended Grey College in Bloemfontein!
The front row seems to be the area that is best represented. Both starting props for the Cheetahs, Wian du Preez and CJ van der Linde attended Grey, while Sharks replacement prop Jannie du Plessis did as well. Amongst the hookers the percentage is even higher, with only Craig Burden flying the Maritzburg College flag. The family connections are also quite staggering here, with Free State duo Adriaan and Richardt Strauss (old Greys) cousins, while Sharks hooker Bismarck (an old Grey) is the brother of Jannie. Another member of the Strauss clan, Andries, who plays centre for the Sharks and is Richardt’s brother, is not in the squad this week. Quite predictably, he is also an alumnus of Grey College!
The only other forward in either squad to have attended Grey is Free State flanker Heinrich Brüssow.
Amongst the backs, it’s more of the same, with the Sharks boasting old-Greys in the form of Ruan Pienaar and Frans Steyn, while the Cheetahs have Falie Oelshig, Tewis de Bruyn and JW Jonker amongst their ranks. It seems as though front-rankers and halfbacks are the primary export from the school that, as far as I know, has produced more Bok representatives than any other.
Extending the net even wider to encompass those who attended school in Bloemfontein in general, we have a few more interesting names. Sharks skipper AJ Venter attended Louis Botha Tech, while Hendro Scholtz and Juan Smith attendended Voortrekker and JBM Hertzog respectively. Jean Deysel went to Hentie Cilliers in Virginia, which is also in the Free State, as is Vryburg, where Albert van den Berg matriculated.
The Sharks, of course, have a fair few players who attended top schools in Durban or Maritzburg, with Burden, BJ Botha, Brad Barritt, Waylon Murray all schooled in the Province. Cheetahs locks Rory Duncan and David de Villiers were also both educated in Natal.
Both teams have their fair share of imports as well. Schools in the Eastern Cape were responsible for producing Keegan Daniel, Ryan Kankowski, Rory Kockott, Odwa Ndungane, Conrad Barnard, Meyer Bosman, Steven Sykes and Bees Roux. The last two actually attended the same school: Marlow Agricultural College in Cradock. Bosman is a old boy of Oakdale, which is the same school that injured Shark Johann Muller attended. Hennie Daniller, Eddie Fredericks, Jongi Nokwe, Hendrik Meyer, Bevin Fortuin, Adi Jacobs and Stefan Terblanche make up the Western (and Southern) Cape contingent.
Barend Pieterse in the only Pretoria alumnus in either side, having attended Waterkloof Hoër, while JP Pietersen, Jacques Botes and Duanne Vermeulen were schooled in various parts of the former Transvaal Province.Tweet