Glenwood star to lead SA

2014-08-15 00:00

GLENWOOD High School have another feather in their rugby cap. This time, it’s the announcement of No 8 Jaco Coet­zee to captain the SA Schools’ side in the international matches against France, Wales and England.

Coetzee has a fine record as a schoolboy rugby player, captaining the U13B KZN Craven Week side and joining Glenwood the following year, leading the U14A side. The inevitable happened in his U16 year, when a knee injury sidelined him for the whole season.

However, it did not deter the youngster, who remained focused on the game he cherishes. He bounced back last year, representing KZN at Craven Week and the KZN U18 Sevens side. He was awarded Glenwood’s Open Player of the Year at the annual sports awards for his achievements in the game.

Speaking to Coetzee earlier this year, it was plain to see his dedication to the game. “I live for the game and am fortunate to have the opportunities to further my rugby journey at Glenwood,” he said.

“I have the facilities, coaches, support — everything I need to make things happen. It’s up to me to use this and not let such a platform pass me by.”

True to his word, this year has been a stellar one for the burly loose forward. He travelled to Botswana to represent the SA Sevens team at the African Youth Games, returning with the gold medal and was again a vital cog in the KZN Craven Week side.

Here, in Middelburg, he captained the team in one match and won a man-of-the-match award. He has been a pillar of strength and consistency for Glenwood’s “Green Machine” throughout the season, one of the first names on the teamsheet week after week.

His skill as a runner and ball carrier, plus his ability to cross the advantage line has made him a huge asset to Glenwood and schoolboy rugby.

Besides rugby, Coetzee has represented KZN at athletics and plays for Glenwood’s 2nd waterpolo team. As a leader, he is the school’s deputy head prefect and boarder prefect.

The only down side to Coet­zee’s achievements is where he is headed next year — the Stormers have seen something special and he has signed a two-year contract with them from next year.

The SA Schools’ side plays France at the City Park Stadium, Cape Town, today; Wales at Outeniqua Park, George, on August 19 and England at the Markotter grounds in Stellenbosch, on August 23.

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