The big spenders are no more…
The foreseen downturn in contracting of school leavers because of the new SA Rugby contracting model is now a reality, with only 15 of the 26 SA Schools players who took part in the U18 international series against the SA A team, Wales, Argentina and England contracted by South African unions
In all, only 34 school leavers have secured junior contracts with a rugby union for 2020.
South Africa’s top school, Grey College, has according to the available list of contractees as compiled by the website schoolofrugby.co.za not a single player contracted by a union, although Ian Small-Smith is one of three who have signed with the SA Sevens Academy.
There are 12 players from Western Province schools. WP was the top team at this year’s Craven Week and their schools Paarl Boys High (5), Paarl Gimnasium (3), Paul Roos (2) and Stellenberg and Hermanus (one each) provided 12 of the 37 players who have been contracted.
The contracted youngsters come from the following schools (number of players of each school in brackets) –
Paarl Boys High (5), Paarl Gimnasium (3), Monument (3), Selborne College (3), Paul Roos (2), Garsfontein (2), Helpmekaar (2), Garsfontein (2), Voortrekker (Bethlehem) (2), Menlopark (2); and one each from Affies, Windhoek Gymnasium, EG Jansen, Jeppe High, Northwood, KES, Westville, Glenwood, Ben Vorster, St Stithians and Grey College.
The customary “bursaries” from universities are, as far as can be ascertained, also no longer forthcoming for young contracted players.
UJ have over the years often provided accommodation or subsidised tuition fees annually to as many as 55 first year stand-out players. However, the Golden Lions with 11 school leavers are seemingly the biggest spender on young talent and are in fact the leading contractor of young talent.
Conversely, the Blue Bulls, who had more than 100 juniors on their books last year, have contracted only four players, two of whom were already U19 and did not take part in the Craven Week or the international series.
The Blue Bulls of course have the advantage of their outstanding U19 league in which more than 60 club players played who later represented their provinces in SA Rugby’s U20 Rugby Championship. The Blue Bulls aim is to develop their own players for the future.
♦ The three players who have been contracted by the Sevens Academy are Ian Small-Smith (Grey College), Tiaan Pretorius (Paul Roos Gimnasium) and Christiaan Smit (Ben Vorster).
The Contracted Juniors are –
Blue Bulls (4)
Raynard Roets (Garsfontein), Tiaan de Klerk (Monument), Stravino Jacobs (Paarl Gimnasium), Ethan Theart (Windhoek Gimnasium).
Free State (7)
Gideon van Wyk (Paarl Boys' High), Nolan Pienaar (Menlopark), Kamshen Moss (Voortrekker), Warren Louw (Voortrekker), MJ Janse van Rensburg (Affies), Zander du Toit (Helpmekaar), Tylon Kotze (EG Jansen).
Golden Lions (11)
Henco van Wyk (Monument), Jurich Claassens (Garsfontein), Sbu Shongwe (Jeppe High School for Boys'), Allister Williams (Paarl Boys' High), Tyler Bocks (Paarl Boys' High), Quan Horn (Paarl Boys' High), Boldwin Hansen (Hermanus), Izan Esterhuizen (Monument), Munashe Chaitezwi (St Stithians College), Siyemukela Ndlovu (Northwood), Ngia Selengbe (King Edward VII).
EP Kings (4)
Tharquin Manuel (Stellenberg), Nsuku Baloyi (Menlopark), Tiaan Swanepoel (Paarl Gimnasium), Tiaan Botes (Helpmekaar).
Kian Meadon (Paarl Boys' High), Jacques Goosen (Selborne College), Ockie Barnard (Westville Boys' High), Jarrod Taylor (Selborne College), Blaine Golden (Glenwood), Mntungwa Mapantsela (Selborne College).
Western Province (2)
Dylan Alexander (Paarl Gimnasium), Dylan de Leeuw (Paul Roos Gimnasium).
Sevens Academy (3)
Ian Small-Smith (Grey College), Tiaan Pretorius (Paul Roos Gimnasium), Christiaan Smit (Ben Vorster).