Despite the usual plethora of Bulls, the Sharks have managed to secure 5 spots in the 26-man squad picked to compete for the IRB Junior World Championship in Japan next month. Bok Sevens star “Magic” Rob Ebersohn will captain the side.
The Bulls have 11 representatives in the side, including former SA Schools captain CJ Stander and Super 14 winger Gerhard van den Heever. Francois Brummer is another regular on the provincial scene. The Lions, Cheetahs and Western Province have three representatives each, with Ebersohn nominally the fourth Cheetah, even though he is (to my knowledge) not actually contracted to that union. The captain’s twin brother, flyhalf Sias, is also in the squad.
The only KZN backline player in the team is another youngster with Super 14 experience, scrumhalf Ross Cronjé. The blonde youngster is no stranger to Sharks fans as he and his twin brother Guy played a huge role in the Sharks u19 team’s trophy-winning season in 2008. Both Cronjé twins featured regularly for the Sharks XV this year, while Ross managed to accumulate two senior Sharks caps as well.
Locks Kene Okafor and Jandre Marais have also been selected – the latter putting in some good Vodacom Cup performances in place of Joe Snyman while the Sharks were on tour. Okafor was another stalwart in the Sharks Under 19 side last year. Hooker Kyle Cooper and tighthead prop Julian Redelinghuys are also there, but the third member of their trio, loosehead Dale Chadwick, is a surprising omission.
We’d like to wish the squad the best of luck in Japan, where they’ll come up against some stiff opposition – including an Australian side that boasts 10 or more players with Super 14 experience. Go all the way, Bokkies, we’ll be right behind you.
|Clayton Blommetjies||Blue Bulls||Fullback|
|Zane Botha||Blue Bulls||Hooker|
|Francois Brummer||Blue Bulls||Flyhalf|
|David Bulbring||Golden Lions||Lock|
|Tendayi Chikukwa||Blue Bulls||Eighthman|
|Lionel Cronje||Free State||Flyhalf|
|Sias Ebersohn||Free State||Flyhalf|
|Robert Ebersohn||Free State||Centre|
|Nicolaas Hanekom||Western Province||Centre|
|Yaasir Hartzenberg||Western Province||Flank|
|Cornel Hess||Blue Bulls||Lock|
|Morne Mellet||Blue Bulls||Prop|
|Jan Andre Marais||KZN||Lock|
|Sampie Mastriet||Blue Bulls||Wing|
|Caylib Oosthuizen||Golden Lions||Prop|
|Coenrad Oosthuizen||Free State||Prop|
|Rudy Paige||Golden Lions||Scrumhalf|
|Johann Sadie||Western Province||Centre|
|Marnus Schoeman||Blue Bulls||Flank|
|Omphile Seabela||Blue Bulls||Wing|
|Christiaan Stander||Blue Bulls||Eighthman|
|Gerhard van den Heever||Blue Bulls||Wing|
|Eric Sauls||Head Coach – Blue Bulls|
|Deon Davids||Assistant Coach – Boland|
|Nico Serfontein||Assistant Coach – Blue Bulls|
|Willem Opliphant||Manager – Eastern Province|
|Tim Dlulane||Logistics Manager – Blue Bulls|
|Elliot Mntunwekhaya Fana||Technical Assistant – Border|
|Pierre Viviers||Doctor – SARU|
|Matime Diale||Physiotherapist – SARU|
|Wayne Hector||Physiotherapist – Western Province|
|Johan Pretorius||Conditioning Coach – Sport Science Institute of SA|
SA Under-20 Junior World Championship Fixtures:
|05 June 2009||SA v Fiji||Osaka|
|09 June 2009||SA v Italy||Osaka|
|13 June 2009||SA v France||Osaka|