A SA Rugby Sevens Academy Under-17 squad was selected after the recent Interprovincial Sevens tournament for U17s in Kimberley, and will participate in a training camp in Stellenbosch and play in the Assupol Sevens, to be held at the Markötter Fields in Stellenbosch on 29 and 30 October.
In total, 25 players were invited to the training camp from 23-30 October in Stellenbosch. Two SA Rugby Sevens Academy Under-17 sides will then participate in the Under-17 section of the Assupol Sevens, which will also see age group teams from Argentina and Namibia compete at the tournament.
Western Province, who were crowned champions in Kimberley last month, have six representatives in the squad and the Golden Lions and KZN three each.
“This is an important camp for us,” said SA Rugby Sevens Academy Manager, Marius Schoeman.“We have identified the players who impressed us in Kimberley and now have an ideal opportunity to work with them in camp. It is important for us to equip these players, talented as they are, with the necessary skills and tools to compete at the highest level.
“Sevens has become a specialised code and has specific skills in crucial areas, something we need to work on with these boys. We have established the Academy as a good pathway for our best young players into the senior Springbok Sevens side and a lot of these players have the potential to become Blitzboks in the coming years.
“That is why it is important for us to improve the areas where they are lacking and to expose them to the demands and mindset of sevens rugby. At the culmination of the camp, we will also play some competitive teams in the Assupol Sevens and that will also provide us with the opportunity to measure our progress.”
The invited players are:
Diego Appollis, Campwill Willemse (both Blue Bulls), Ofentse Maubane (Limpopo Blue Bulls), Ethinique Adams, Christie Grobbelaar (both Boland), Avuyile Mabece (Border), Ross Braude, Ian Small-Smith (both Free State), Kobus Hatting (Griffons), Siyanda Cele, Dylan Pretorius, Celempilo Gumede (all KZN), Anelka Barends, Gutav Erlank (both Leopards), Muzilikazi Manyike, Franco Schutte, Santino Swanepoel (all Golden Lions), Stefan Smit (Pumas), Xavier Adams, Stavino Jacobs, Tiaan Pretorius, Eugene Snyders, Albertus Horne, Duffie Kellerman, William Rose (all Western Province).