The SA Schools and SA Schools A squads – featuring four returning players from 2018 – to contest the U18 International Series against their age-group counterparts from Argentina, England, France, Wales in August were announced by SA Rugby on Monday.
Jacques Goosen (hooker, Border), Jarrod Taylor (flanker, Border), Keketso Morabe (flanker, Thepa Trading Griffons) and Jurich Claasens (scrumhalf, Assupol Blue Bulls), all of whom played for the SA Schools team in 2018, were again included following the successful hosting of the Under-18 Youth Weeks in Bloemfontein at the beginning of the month.
Mzwakhe Nkosi (Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions, SA Schools) and Phiwe Nomlomo (Border, SA Schools A) are the respective coaches.
SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux, congratulated the players on their selection and wished them well for the forthcoming series.
“It is a rewarding and exciting time for the selected schoolboys as they get the opportunity to play for their country and give justice to their talent and hard work put in,” said Roux.
“The selection of these squads is in line with our elite player development pathway of which the SA Schools teams form an important part.
“We invest time, money and resources into their matches with a view to them graduating through the age group levels to the very top of the game, so good luck to all involved, including the coaching staff of Mzwakhe and Phiwe respectively.”
The U18 International Series kicks off at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch on Friday, 9 August, with matches to follow at Paarl Gymnasium in Paarl on Tuesday, 13 August and Hugenote High School in Wellington on Saturday, 17 August.
The squads (with provinces and schools) are:
Outside backs: Geraldo Flusk (Assupol Blue Bulls / HS Garsfontein), Keane Galant (Boland / HTS Drostdy), Zeilinga Strydom (Assupol Blue Bulls / HS Garsfontein), Tarquin Manuel (DHL Western Province / HS Stellenberg).
Centres: Tyler Bocks (DHL Western Province / Paarl Boys High), Henco van Wyk (Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions / Monument), Mntungwa Mapantsela (Border / Selborne College).
Flyhalves: Kean Meadon (DHL Western Province / Paarl Boys High), Boldwin Hansen (Boland / HS Hermanus).
Scrumhalves: Jurich Claasens (Assupol Blue Bulls / HS Garsfontein), Dylan Alexander (DHL Western Province / Paarl Gymnasium).
Loose forwards: George Cronje (Bizhub Free State Cheetahs / Grey College), Gideon van Wyk (DHL Western Province / Paarl Boys High), Jarrod Taylor (Border / Selborne College), Siyemukela Ndlovu (Cell C Sharks / Northwood HS), Keketso Morabe (Thepa Trading Griffons / Welkom Gymnasium).
Locks: Simon Miller (Assupol Blue Bulls / St Albans), Dylan de Leeuw (DHL Western Province / Paul Roos Gymnasium), Connor Evans (DHL Western Province / Bishops), Wandile Hlope (Cell C Sharks / Maritzburg College).
Props: Blaine Golden (Cell C Sharks / Glenwood HS), Bryan le Roux (DHL Western Province / Rondebosch Boys High), Jan-Hendrik Wessels (Bizhub Free State Cheetahs / Grey College), Okuhle Siyeni (Cell C Sharks / Westville Boys High).
Hookers: Jacques Goosen (Border / Selborne College), Andre Venter (Bizhub Free State Cheetahs / Grey College).
Management – Head Coach: Mzwakhe Nkosi (Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions). Assistant coach: Cobus van Dyk (Assupol Blue Bulls). Manager: Dean Moodley (Cell C Sharks).