Baby Bok Franco Marais joins UKZN Impi

2013-01-16 00:00

THE South Africa U20 hooker, Franco Marais, has enrolled at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is available for the UKZN Impi team for the 2013 Varsity Shield and Moor Cup competitions.

“Franco played for the Baby Boks last year, the team that won the Junior Rugby World Cup, and also made his Currie Cup debut for the Sharks in the 2012 season,” UKZN Impi executive committee member Mark Schulze told The Witness yesterday.

Marais will certainly add some beef to the UKZN Impi front row, and head coach Shawn van Rensburg has been impressed with what he’s seen at training sessions in the past two weeks.

“Franco brings great presence to our squad, having played at provincial and international level,” Van Rensburg said.

“I am very impressed with his motivation at our evening practices, especially after having completed full-day training sessions with the Sharks.”

The UKZN Impi management have also announced their captains for the season. Van Rensburg said Andre Greyvenstein, the former Maritzburg College first XV captain and a seasoned Varsity flanker, would lead the side with former Pukke utility back Jeandre Small deputising as vice captain.

Meanwhile, the UKZN Impi team are proving that there is plenty of empathy behind their beefy facade. The team will spend tomorrow upgrading the Jes Foord Foundation Community Centre in Chesterville, Durban. The centre, which is in serious need of a facelift, is the interface between the victims of abuse and rape — often as young as eight years old — and the Jes Foord Foundation counsellors.

Immediately after tomorrow’s refurbishment project, the UKZN Impi will swap paint brushes and tools for rugby boots and balls before facing 2012 Varsity Shield winners Wits University at 6 pm at the Howard College (UKZN Durban campus) rugby ground.

The match against Wits is the first of a two-match series with one of UKZN’s oldest rivals.

The second encounter will take place at 9 am on Saturday at the Peter Booysen Sports Park rugby stadium off Golf Road in Scottsville.

Schulze urged KZN rugby fans to get behind the Impi and it is hoped that many supporters will attend the two matches. He also invited fans to follow the team @UKZN_Rugby on Twitter.

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