The Border Craven and Academy Week teams have entered their final week of preparation ahead of their respective national weeks, which get under way in Paarl on Monday.
Both teams will be carrying the hopes of the Border region as they battle it out against the best schoolboy rugby talent from across the country, with all the teams going all out to make it into the main game of the week.
The teams held their capping ceremony at Old Selbornians club on Sunday, which saw a number of new caps handed out, while a few players were receiving their second cap after being picked last year.
This year the Craven Week side is being coached by Hudson Park High School’s head of rugby, James Winstanley, and he is being assisted by Selborne College first team head coach Phiwe Nomlomo.
The Academy side is coached by Port Rex head of sport Daneal Steyn, and he is being assisted by Hudson Park’s first team backline and U14A coach Khanyisa Mpumlwana.
The Border Craven Week team is deservedly loaded with Selborne College players, as they have been the most dominant team on the Border this year, with no fewer than 16 named in the travelling 23.
A change up from previous years has, however, seen co-ed schools Hudson and Stirling emerge as the next most represented schools.
Usually that distinction would go to the College duo of Dale and Queen’s, but with Dale having just one representative this year and Queen’s none, Hudson and Stirling saw three players each picked in the squad.
The captain of the Craven Week team will be fullback Siba Xamlashe, while prop Nolan Kemp and eighthman Kwezi Dlamini will share vice-captain duties.
This year’s Academy team is led in representations by Dale, who have 10 players in the side.
They are followed by Queen’s with four players selected, Hudson with three, Selborne with two and one each from Lilyfontein, Port Rex, Cambridge and Phillip Mtywaku.
The side will be captained by Mattheus van der Walt, while the vice-captain will be Elimi Putini.
Both sides will enjoy a final run out with a light contact match tomorrow, before the players are given a few days off before heading for Paarl on Saturday.
The Border Craven Week team:
1. Nolan Kemp (co-vice-captain and Selborne College), 2. Jacques Goosen (SC), 3. Masi Mafanyana (Dale College), 4. Uzile Tele (Hudson Park), 5. Ridge Snelling (SC), 6. Troy Mynhardt (SC), 7. Jarred Taylor (SC), 8. Kwezi Dlamini (co-vice-captain and Stirling High), 9. Tom Bursey (SC), 10. Avuyile Mabece (HP), 11. Sakhe Dingile (SH), 12. Mnombo Zwelendaba (SC), 13. Mtungwa Mapentsela (SC), 14. Jarred Ramsay (SC), 15. Siba Xamlashe (captain and SC)
16. AK Dlakavu (SC), 17. Andre Nel (SH), 18. Shakeel Naidoo (SC), 19. Raidon Masters (SC), 20. Tomson Akioyame (HP), 21. Jordan Janse van Rensburg (SC), 22. Likhaya Tengimfene (SC), 23. Sibulele Mali (SC)
The Border Academy Week team:
1. Okuhle Siyeni (DC), 2. Keegan Mcloughlin (SC), 3. Othandwayo Nogqala (QC), 4. Chumani Gateni (QC), 5. Hlomla Payi (DC), 6. Mattheus van der Walt (captain and Lilyfontein), 7. Thanda Gqokro (DC), 8. Simnikiwe Gege (DC), 9. Lusandiso Luke (Port Rex), 10. Elimi Putini (vice-captain and DC), 11. Bulelani Ngaki (HP), 12. Enrique Oranje (QC), 13. Indiphile Tyeda (DC), 14. Siyasamkela Tyulu (QC), 15. Thando Zoki (DC)
16. Mikhaya Sonqishe (DC), 17. Loyiso Peteni (SC), 18. Matthew Wulff (HP), 19. Siphelele Njumba (DC), 20. Luphumlo Tsheko (DC), 21. Lisolethu Valisi (Phillip Mtywaku), 22. Cole du Preez (Cambridge), 23. Damien Morrow (HP)