The Ikey’speedster Christians and two other Varsity Cup players have been named in a 16-man Emerging Sevens Training squad that will attend a training camp in Stellenbosch from June 10-13.
Elusive UJ fullback Earl Lewis, Ikey Tigers winger Marvin Christians and Maties loose forward Jonathan Adendorf – all of whom played in the 2009 Varsity Cup – will form part of SARU’s talent identification programme which aims to increase the depth of Sevens players in South Africa and to also identify future Springbok Sevens players.
Speedsters Lewis and Christians – both of whom were part of the SA Vipers squad that played in the Tangiers Sevens last month – have trained with the full national Sevens squad before.
Adendorf, meanwhile, has all the attributes – pace, power, size (1,91m and 95kg) and skill – to develop into a fine Sevens player himself.
“Players such as Springbok Sevens captain Mzwandile Stick, Renfred Dazel and Vuyo Zangqa, who are all part of Paul Treu’s IRB World Sevens Series champion squad, all started their rugby careers with the South African Emerging side,” explained Emerging Sevens squad coach Arthur Janson.
“The intention behind selecting this squad is to create uniformity within the structures of Sevens Rugby in South Africa and to be more supportive of our national team,” he added.
“It is for this reason that we chose Stellenbosch as the venue for the camp, to ensure that all our Sevens players on the same program and get used to our structures.
“Frankie Horne, who has been one of the outstanding players for the Springbok Sevens team this season, was part of the Emerging Sevens structures last year.”
Of course, ‘Blitz Boks’ coach Paul Treu – at times – selected three Varsity Cup players in his IRB Series-winning Springbok Sevens squad this past season.
Robert Ebersohn (Shimlas) and Kyle Brown (UCT) both played Varsity Cup rugby in 2008, whilst Stellenbosch’s Chase Minnaar featured in 2008 and also in this year’s FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International.
Minnaar played in two IRB Sevens tournaments this season – in Adelaide and Hong Kong – and Brown featured in every single Sevens tournament. Ebersohn missed out on the final leg in Edinburgh only – due his commitments with the South African Under-20 squad. (Both Brown and Ebersohn also played at the 2009 Sevens World Cup in Dubai.)
Ebersohn, of course, will captain the SA U20s at the 2009 IRB Junior World Championship, which kicks-off in Japan this weekend.
SA Emerging Sevens training squad:
Boland: Neil Papier, Deon Scholtz
Border: Samora Fihlani
Free State: Ashley Johnson, Schalk van der Merwe
Golden Lions: Earl Lewis (UJ)
KZN: Mlindazwe Nqoro, Lwazi Mvovo
Leopards: Wilhelm Koch, Jovan Bowles
SWD: Jandre Blom, Norman Nelson
Western Province: Marvin Christians (UCT), Zandre Jordaan, Tyrone Holmes, Jonathan Adendorf (Maties)
Arthur Janson – Coach
Brent Martin – Physiotherapist
Cassiem Jabaar – Team Manager