Wits/UKZN Selection game today

2013-12-02 00:00

AN exciting team of UKZN first-year students and Varsity Shield hopefuls will be taking on Varsity Cup side Wits University at 5 pm today on the immaculate Varsity Rugby Stadium turf at the Peter Booysen Sports Park off Golf Road in Scottsville.

“The UKZN Selection side for the Wits match are not from the current 36-man UKZN Impi Varsity Shield squad that start the first of four camps with head coach John Mitchell and his staff on the Maritzburg campus Monday [today], but are mostly first-year students from all three UKZN campuses that were selected at recent trials,” UKZN Selection team head coach Nic Haswell told The Witness yesterday.

“The Impi selectors will be watching the match closely to see if some of the UKZN Selection boys warrant a late call-up to Mitch’s current Impi squad.”

UKZN Rugby Club president Mark Schulze added that the PMB rugby public will likely see Wits field their Varsity Cup team, while Haswell also took into account that a lopsided victory will serve little value for Wits. Their brains trust would also see the clash as a chance to give game time to some of the Johannesburg-based side’s Varsity Cup hopefuls in addition to affording their first-choice players decent match time.

“We can’t reveal too many new names in the current Impi squad for Mitch’s camp at Peter Booysen, which takes place from [today] to Friday, as most are still awaiting admission to study at UKZN, but Deon Carney, the Griquas loose forward, has been admitted and will join the camp this weekend, while Henri Boshoff, the Lions’ Vodacom Cup front-ranker, is still waiting to hear from the UKZN admissions office, but is travelling down for camp in any case,” said Schulze.

The UKZN Rugby Club president said that another new recruit, Zimbabwe centre Shayne Makombe, had been released from Impi camp obligations in order to play for the Zimbabwe national IRB sevens team, while 2013 UKZN Impi backline star Henkie Groenewald is away with the Sharks’ sevens side, but will join the camp once the Premier League Sevens is done.

“The Wits/UKZN Selection match at Peter Booysen, along with our first UKZN Impi camp at the same venue, promises to herald an exciting start to our 2014 Varsity Shield preparations and the boys are jumping out of their skins to get the show on the road,” Schulze added.

For long-time UKZN rugby fans, anticipation for the Varsity Shield season, which kicks off at the end of January, is already building.

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