Dane Johnson, here defending in the Varsity Cup match against UJ got a call up to the SA Vipers
The SA Vipers 7s team – strengthened by the inclusion of several Varsity Cup stars, two of them Ikey Tigers – departed for Morocco on Wednesday to play in the annual Tangiers Sevens tournament.
Nine international teams – hailing from Morocco, France, South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya, as well as six local teams, will be in action at the popular event on May 8 and 9.
The SA Vipers, who made the final last year, will be coached by Arthur Janson of Boland.
University of Johannesburg (UJ) fullback Earl Lewis, who excelled in the 2009 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International, has been included in the 12-man Vipers squad. Lewis had a short spell training with Paul Treu’s Springbok Sevens squad, and his call-up is due recognition of his talent at Sevens level, having been the outstanding player in the recent Melrose tournament in Scotland which, of course, was won by UJ.
UCT wingers Dane Johnson and Marvin Christians were also rewarded for their excellent Varsity Cup form, with Johnson – for example – having scored four tries during the tournament.
The emergence of these Varsity Cup stars underlines the success of the inter-university competition in developing young rugby talent.
Former Springbok Sevens player Jandré Blom and Bolander Neil Papier, another seasoned Provincial player, will provide the necessary experience for the otherwise youthful touring squad.
The SA Vipers squad:
Neil Papier (Boland)
Gert Lubbe (Vodacom Blue Bulls and Tuks)
Alvin Jonathan (Boland)
Jandré Blom (Vodacom Free State Cheetahs)
Earl Lewis (Xerox Golden Lions and UJ)
WP van Vuuren (Griffons)
Mlindazwe Nqoro (KwaZulu-Natal)
Dane Johnson (Vodacom Western Province and UCT)
Marvin Christians (Vodacom WP and UCT)
Danie Poolman (Vodacom WP)
Petrus van der Walt (Vodacom WP)
Cameron Peverett (Vodacom WP and Maties)