Wellington - Boland Cavaliers head coach Randall Modiba has announced his squad for the 2017 rugby season.
With SA Rugby’s new provincial competition scheduled to kick-off in April, the squad consists of a healthy blend of youth and experience.
The squad includes seasoned campaigners like Clemen Lewis, Elgar Watts, Zandre Jordaan and Danwel Demas, as well as a number of players coming through the union’s junior structures. Players like Jovelian de Koker, Kenan Cronje, Gareth Cilliers, Adriaan Carelse, Chadley Wenn and Chaney Willemse are all products of Boland Rugby’s age group teams, including the Boland Rugby Academy.
New additions to the squad include Fred Muller (scrumhalf), Marlyn Williams (lock), JP Coetzee (wing), Alcino Izaacs (centre), Vukile Sofisa (prop), Stefaan Grundlingh (prop), Arnout Malherbe (prop), Clinton Theron (prop), Dylan Pieterse (lock/flank), McMillan Muller (hooker), Rinus Bothma (lock) and Vian van der Watt (scrumhalf). Both Muller and Williams are returning to the union they represented at schoolboy level, after stints with Western Province and the Valke respectively.
The Cavaliers will further be bolstered when two current Varsity Cup regulars, Chris Massyn (loose forward) and Divan Nel (flyhalf) join the squad. Massyn is a former SA Schools player and the current Tuks captain, while Nel is a former Lions under-21 product and current UJ flyhalf.
In addition to the current squad, the Cavaliers have identified and tested several Boland Rugby club and Academy players that forms part of the Boland Cavaliers extended group and elite programme.
The purpose of this programme is to expose local talent to professional rugby and to prepare these players for a possible career as professional rugby players. The plan is to achieve the same success with these players, which was achieved with a number of current contracted Boland Cavaliers players over the past few seasons. Wayne Wilschut, Gerrit van Wyk and Ludio Williams have all excelled at their respective Boland Rugby clubs, before making successful step-ups to the professional stage.
“The objective was to target talented players, with a healthy work ethic and a sound personality, to be students of the game. I also put a lot of emphasis on players with character, to lead and inspire others,” said Modiba.
“We are satisfied with the balance of our squad and a healthy, competitive nature is currently in progress. If you go for quality rather than quantity, player depth will always be a challenge, but we believe with the blend between specialists and versatility in key positions, we will overcome that challenge.
“The mindset was also two-folded in this process, firstly to get players to take Boland Rugby to greater heights and to achieve common goals, and secondly for Boland Rugby to produce players of quality for the greater purpose of South African rugby.”
Boland Cavaliers 2017 squad:
Yves Bashiya, Rinus Bothma, Gareth Cilliers, Kenan Cronje, Francois Esterhuizen, Stefaan Grundlingh, Francois Hanekom, Zandre Jordaan, Clemen Lewis, Chris Massyn, Arnout Malherbe, Mcmillan Muller, Dylan Pieterse, Vukile Sofisa, Clinton Theron, Linda Thwala, Chadley Wenn, Chaney Willemse, Ludio Williams, Marlyn Williams, Wayne Wilschut.
Logan Basson, Christopher Bosch, Adriaan Carelse, JP Coetzee, Jovelian de Koker, Danwel Demas, Alcino Izaacs, Charlie Mayeza, Fred Muller, Divan Nel, Edwin Sass, Sergio Torrens, Vian van der Watt, Gerrit van Wyk, Elgar Watts