In Part two we will look at the backline players of the SA Schools side. As said we do not agree with the 18/10 split between forwards and backs as was used by the SA Schools selector panel.
Jaden Hendrikse, Sharks/ Glenwood
Sanele Nohamba, Sharks/ Durban High School
Sanele Nohamba the stand out scrumhalf in a year where the quality of scrumhalves was less than satisfactory. The popular reason for the selections of Jaden Hendrikse and other 17-year-olds is apparently to prepare a core of players for 2018. Nonsense when you pick a South African side you pick the best. Thinus Combrink was as good as Sanele Nohamba and it is a travesty that he is not part of the team.
Christopher Schreuder, Free State/ Grey College
Talk is that the selectors are comfortable that of the other players selected can fill in at flyhalf. And then we do not even bother to kick at goal? With the dismal performance of kickers at the Craven Week, surely Stephan van der Bank selection was accepted as necessary. But again it seems that the selectors do not watch rugby because then they would have learnt the lesson the Springboks learnt playing in tests without a recognised goal kicker. Another boy very unlucky not to be selected must be Ruben Beytell. Ruben is not the goal kicker of the Vlake but taking the gameplan into account the Bokkies should play Ruben must be the no 1 contender for the flyhalf position, unfortunately, the experiment to play him at scrumhalf for the Valke, apparently under instructions from the selectors was not successful and may have cost him his place in the team.
Diego Appollis (utility back), Blue Bulls/Garsfontein
Yanga Hlalu (centre/winger), Bidvest Golden Lions/ KES
Rikus Pretorius, Free State/ Grey College
Diego Appollis do deserve the spot in the team but is no utility back. The Blue Bulls picked him as fullback BUT he never played this position before in his life. Yangu Hlalu is a brilliant player on the attack but his shortcomings on defence are well known but it does seem that his ability to also play wing gave him the nod before players like Cilliers of Free State and Le Fleur of the Sharks. This "madness" to go into this series with only 10 players is going to haunt the selectors and I want to close off the discussion of centres with " Cilliers, Cilliers, Cilliers, Cilliers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Hillegard Du Plessis (winger), DHL Western Province/ Paarl Gymnasium
Qamani Kota (winger), Tshepa Trading Griffons/ Welkom Gimnasium
Conan Le Fleur (winger), Sharks/ Glenwood
Hillegard or Muller as we know Fullback, Qamani or Andrew as we know Fullback, Conan only Conan Outside Centre. Maybe the selectors had a cook-off secretly and these 3 boys proved if the dietician was kidnapped they could cope in that position also. All 3 boys are brilliant players but are they the best on the wing. No players like David Cary, Thaakir Abrahams, Jaco van Heyningen and Prince Nkabinde can not be blamed if they feel cheated. And this only the start of the list of aggrieved players.
Bonianga Mpeku (fullback), Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions/ KES
The only position where the best players were chosen. All four of them.
To conclude, the boys did not pick themselves and deserve the full support of the whole of South Africa, mine included. But what the hell were the selectors thinking? Was Toeties visit not just that? The selection of the SA Schools team must be done to reward the best players in schoolboy rugby at that stage. Then add the best coaches and the rest will look after itself. I can not think that reserving positions at this age could be good for anybody, favoured or disadvantaged.
But as I said before, these boys will wear the Green And Gold and will not lose on purpose, win maybe. Lets go Bokkies.