Phendulani Buthelezi is the head boy at Durban High School and the Sharks captain and No 8 at Craven Week. Photo: Sibonelo Ngcobo

JOHANNESBURG – Six players who featured in the SA Schools and SA Schools A teams in the Under-19 International Series last season will add experience to the 28-member SA Schools squad named on Thursday for this year’s edition.

Centre Rikus Pretorius was a member of the triumphant SA Schools team that registered a whitewash in the 2016 series, while scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba, flanks Dylan Richardson and Mark Snyman, lock Juan van der Mescht and prop Keagan Glade all represented the SA Schools A team.

The SA Schools team will face Wales on Friday, 11 August at City Park Stadium in Crawford, Cape Town; France on Tuesday, 15 August, at Paarl Gymnasium; and England on Saturday, 19 August, at a venue yet to be confirmed.

In total, 18 players in the squad featured in the final match of the Craven Week at St Stithians College in Johannesburg last Saturday between the Golden Lions and the Sharks, which the home team won 45-18, with each side boasting nine players.

The tournament marks the sixth edition of the international schools tournament, which has become a highlight on the schools rugby calendar.

The SA Schools team will again be guided by head coach Lance Sendin, who is also the Hugenote Hoërskool First XV team coach.

Griffons Under-18 Craven Week assistant coach Roean Bezuidenhout has been named as Sendin’s assistant.

The SA Schools team will gather in Stellenbosch on Sunday, 6 August, to begin their preparations for the tournament. The captain and vice-captain are set to be named once the coaches have had time to work with the players.

“This is a talented group of players and we are excited to work with them ahead of the tournament,” said Sendin.

“We have no doubt that a huge challenge awaits in the series, but this is an exciting time of the year for us all and we will give our best to be successful in the series.”

Due to the number of participating teams in the series, the SA Schools A team will not be in action this year.

SA Schools Squad

Forwards (18): Adrian Alberts, Morné Brandon, Phendulani Buthelezi, Jordan Clarke, Keagan Glade, Travis Gordon, Ruhann Greyling, Celimpilo Gumede, Joachim Martins, Nkosikhona Masuku, Fezokuhle Mbatha, Banele Mthenjane, Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Dylan Richardson, Mark Snyman, Juan van der Mescht, Christen van Niekerk. 

Backs (10): Diego Appollis, Hillegard du Plessis, Jaden Hendrikse, Yanga Hlalu, Qamani Kota, Conan le Fleur, Bonianga Mpeku, Sanele Nohamba, Rikus Pretorius, Christopher Schreuder.

African News Agency (ANA)