Bulls dominate SA Schools squad

Craven Week 'champions' Eastern Province have four players in the 28-man SA Schools squad, while the Blue Bulls have nine.

The teams met on day two of the U18 Craven Week in Middelburg, with EP securing a 26-25 victory thanks to a last-minute conversion from flyhalf Curwin Bosch. He is one of four players from the unbeaten side to be selected, where he is joined by fullback Keanu Vers, eighthman Junior Pokomela and prop Lupumlo Mguca.

While the Bulls did go on to win their two other matches, the volume of players from Pretoria is bound to raise a few eyebrows. As does the non-selection of any specialist fetchers among the loose forwards. Free State's Victor Maruping and Griquas Country Districts' Cobus Wiese both deserve their place in the squad, but smaller flankers like the Lions' Willem Massyn or Eastern Province Country Districts' Luigy van Jaarsveld can feel aggrieved to have missed out on selection.

Meanwhile, Western Province have only one player in the squad as does Grey College, the top-ranked schools side in the country.

Hein Kriek of Paul Roos, who coached the Western Province team at the U18 Craven Week, will take charge of the SA Schools team.

The side will compete against France, Wales and England in the upcoming U18 international series, where they will look to extend their unbeaten run of the last four years.

SA Schools squad:

Fullbacks: Morné Joubert (KZN), Eduan Keyter (Blue Bulls), Keanu Vers (Eastern Province)

Right wings: Nazo Nkala (Griffons)

Outside centres: Barend Smit (Pumas)

Inside centres: JT Jackson (SWD)

Left wings: Jerry Danquah (Border), Andell Loubsher (Blue Bulls)

Flyhalves: Curwin Bosch (Eastern Province), Thinus de Beer (Blue Bulls)

Scrumhalves: Marco Janse van Vuuren (Valke), Ambrose Papier (Blue Bulls)

No 8s: Jakobus Coetzee (KZN), Junior Pokomela (Eastern Province), Edmund Rheeder (Leopards)

No 7 flankers: Cobus Wiese (Griquas Country Districts), Victor Maruping (Free State), Arnold Gerber (Blue Bulls)

No 5 locks: Eduard Zandberg (SWD)

No 4 Locks: Jaco Willemse (Western Province), Ashton Fortuin (Blue Bulls)

Tighthead props: Ignatius Prinsloo (Free State), Sarel-Marco Smit (Blue Bulls)

Hookers: Jan-Henning Campher (Blue Bulls), Le Roux Baard (SWD)

Loosehead props: Ngonidzashe Chidoma (KwaZulu-Natal), Michael Kumbirai (Blue Bulls), Lupumlo Mguca (Eastern Province)

Photo: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images