Duane Heath

Wilberforce's World Cup dream

2004-10-01 08:13

Francois Pienaar and Wilberforce Masumbuka both share the same rugby dream.

But what has Worcester (the town, not the sauce) got to do with it?

The answer to this you'll find below, but here are some clues to get you stewing: William Webb-Ellis, Japan (nothing to do with Jaco, promise), Eugene Eloff, Chiliboy Ralepelle. Confused?

I'd be too, but then it's been quite a week - a good week - in SA rugby.

Sarfu has become, well, SA Rugby; Jake White's been given the Bok coaching reins until 2007; and Pienaar is now officially rugby's Danny Jordaan as he attempts to win the Rugby World Cup for South African for a second time.

The Cheetahs and the Lions have been given another year to tear each other apart in the Super 12, but hey, three out of four ain't bad.

Oh, and in between all this there's been a Currie Cup playoff dash to think and write about, but in my mind at least Sir Donald Currie has had to take a back seat to Master Webb Ellis these past few days.

Okay, so Jake's got the green light to bring the 2007 crown back from France, and Francois has been plotting how to get the 2011 version away from Japan and back to Bokland so soon after 1995.

But while all this has been going on, SA Under-19 coach Eugene Eloff has quietly been putting the finishing touches to preparations for a training camp that, in the bigger scheme of things, might be more important than anything else going on in SA rugby at the moment - the plight of what to do with Rudy Joubert included.

The lemon next to the pie

Eloff has rounded up the cream of the country's schoolboy talent and will spend a week with them in Worcester, starting on Monday.

His immediate goal is to win next year's IRB world Under-19 championship but in terms of the long-term benefits to Springbok rugby, that's only the lemon next to the pie.

Jake White, with contract extension in hand, can now start making medium-term selections with the confidence of knowing who he wants for the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

What Eugene Eloff has been entrusted with is long-term vision. Next week he will take his young charges through their first steps on a road that, if Pienaar is successful, will lead all the way home in seven years' time.

For the chosen ones identified by the SA Under-19 selectors, the road to the 2011 World Cup starts on Monday, October 4 in Worcester.

The players Eloff now has under his wing will all be around 25 years of age when the tournament rolls around, and by that time many of them will have pulled the Springbok jersey over their heads.

Players like Ralepelle, Ashley Johnson and Shandre Frolick may be household names by then, or perhaps their stars will wane and it will be Len Olivier, Jerome Williams and Deon Assegaai we'll all be cheering for. It's up to them.

But for the lucky ones who manage to climb onto the world stage, they will know that their journey started in the first week of October 2004, in a town more famous for wine routes that for winning World Cups.

I've listed below the squad of players gathering next week. Print it out, file it away somewhere, and in the years to come, tick off the names as they don the green and gold.

Blue Bulls:
Booi Ludwe
Nicolaas Du Plessis
Hendrik Meeding
Len Olivier
Wilberforce Masumbuka

Hilton Loberts
Shandre Frolick
Randall April
Denzil Adams
Jowayne Van Wyk
Bertram Willemse

Andisa Gqobo
Jaco Nepgen
Mandilakhe Tile
Bandise Mako
Sokhana Mkhona

Eastern Province
Jerome Williams
Luvuyo Mhlobiso
Marlon Lewis
Sinethemba Jack
Simon Westraadt
Kirwan Frieslaar
Rudi Mathee

Free State
Richardt Strauss
Heinrich Brussow
Deon Stegman
Herman Pretorius
Renaldo Du Preez
Francois Steyn
Stephen Pitchers

Quintin Minnaar
Gert Muller
Zander De Kock
Francois Uys
Soyisille Marareni
Vusi Matubela-Labuschagne

Scott Spedding
Malungisa Nkosi
Christiaan Brits
Philippus De Wet
Reg Muller

Deon Assegaai
Donovan Donaldson
Petrus Vermeulen
Riaan Swanepoel

Hendrik Roodt
Edgar Marutlulle

Limpopo Blue Bulls
Pieter Bonnema
Deon Fourie
Yssel Swanepoel

KwaZulu Natal
Alistair Hargreaves
Bradley Barritt
Johan Strauss
Christopher Micklewood
Wessel Booysen
Francois Vermaak

Christoffel Duvenage
Ruan Boshoff
Tiaan Marx

Johan Snyman
Jan Volschenk
Jacobus Janse van Rensburg
Warren Malgas

Western Province
Pieter Myburg
Ashley Johnson
Alastair Siegelaar
Carlo Prinsloo
Richardo Croy
Terry Jacobs
Richard Lawson
Morgan Newman
Cameron Peverett
Duane Botha

Not considered due to injury:
Chiliboy Ralepelle
Hendrik Van Niekerk
Jody Rose
Marvyn Christiaans

Send Duane your views on this column.

  • Duane Heath is a freelance sportswriter who has written about the game for News24, Rugby World, IRB World of Rugby and the Sunday Times.

  • Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.


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