Soweto Rugby Tournament Unsung stars

2014-05-04 15:00

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The Eye of the Tiger Rugby Academy did not manage to defend their Soweto Rugby Tournament title, which they had won twice on the trot before this year’s edition.

SowetoRugby Club finally won their own tournament, beating Ngculu Zebras 26-6 on Monday. But the academy is playing an unheralded role in pushing development in the sport forward.

One of their heroes, Kutlwano Victor Seketekete?(19), who won the forward of the tournament award in 2012, now finds himself in the South African IRB Junior World Championship squad.

Seketekete, who matriculated from Queens High School in Bezuidenhout Valley, eastern Joburg, two years ago, said the academy was crucial to his development, especially coming from a school without a rugby pedigree.

He said he did not let that cower him.

“There was some influence from the Lions Rugby Union through their looking after of the team because I got

selected for the Craven Week side that year. Through the academy, I gain experience because I was playing against players who were older than me,” said the loose forward.

“It got awkward when guys talk about their schools because I can’t say the same about mine because I’m not from the same environment. Some have 12 teams in different age groups, but we had a few sides.”

The Junior Boks, who won the tournament two years ago at home, will feature two sets of twins in Jean-Luc and Daniel du Preez and Jesse and Daniel Kriel, who represent the Sharks and the Bulls, respectively.

Also back is Handré Pollard, who will participate in his third IRB Junior World Championship.

Seketekete, who only started taking rugby seriously when he got to high school, said he hoped he would not be the last academy product to do well.

“There were scouts from the Lions who attended our practices and matches, and the opportunities came. I am glad I have been able to make the most of mine,” said Seketekete.

Eye of the Tiger RugbyAcademy president Viwe Qegu was disappointed the academy was not able to defend their Soweto title.

But she hoped they would be able to churn out more players and serve their transformation purpose.“Our objective from the onset was to ensure that we flood the system with quality players of colour and Victor is testament to the early success of our programme,” Qegu said.

“There will be no transformation without sustainable development structures, which is why I hope we can go from strength to strength.”

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