The SACS pupil’s desire to be the best is why Western Province’s youth rugby selectors had an easy decision to choose him to captain the WP Under-18 Craven Week rugby team.
WP have been the lead act at the tournament for two years and are expected to again feature prominently.
St Stithians College of Johannesburg will host the annual week-long showpiece that gets under way on July 17.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling being made captain,” said 18-year-old Dlepu, whose first passion growing up in Langa was playing football.
“I’d been told I wasn’t good enough to play for WP, and while that hurt a lot, I never gave up. In fact, it inspired me. I worked my socks off to get to where I am, and there are so many folk to thank, none more than my first school team coach Nick Maurer, who has been at my side every step of the way.”
Maurer believes Dlepu can reach the highest level of the game. “The sky is the limit, as long as he sticks to his work ethic and stays grounded and humble,” the coach said.
“I’m sure that next year he will lap up being at the WP Rugby Institute, a place where he will receive the best possible coaching. A Springbok in the making for sure.”
SACS headmaster Ken Ball said Dlepu was a special young man who made the most of his chances.
Credit must go to WPRFU executive member Gerald Njengele, who talent-spotted Dlepu and tipped off SACS about the promising youngster.