Springbok debut for College Old Boy against World XV

2015-07-09 10:28
Maritzburg College Old Boy Jesse Kriel will make his Springbok debut against the World XV at Newlands in Cape Town tomorrow.

Maritzburg College Old Boy Jesse Kriel will make his Springbok debut against the World XV at Newlands in Cape Town tomorrow. (Deaan Vivier/Foto24)

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Kriel is like a young Frans Steyn with his utility - Meyer

2015-07-09 09:51

Bok coach Heyneke Meyer has decided to start Bulls sensation Jesse Kriel at outside centre against the World XV on Saturday. Kriel's natural position is fullback and Meyer doesn't seem to have a set position for the young flyer. Watch. WATCH

MARITZBURG College Old Boy Jesse Kriel will make his Springbok debut in this weekend’s once-off Test match against the World XV at Newlands in Cape Town.

Kriel, who had a stellar season at fullback for the Bulls, will be starting the game in the number 13 jersey, with on form Stormers centre Damian de Allende to his inside.

“It’s very exciting. I’m so chuffed. Jesse has worked so hard. He deserves every ­single second of it,” his mother Angie Kriel told The Witness shortly after hearing the news yesterday.

“I have just heard now on Facebook,” she added. “Obviously Jesse couldn’t say ­anything, but it has just been confirmed about 10 minutes ago. But there was talk that he would start.”

It has been a very busy time for mom Angie, whose three sons are all big rugby talents.

“Daniel [Jesse’s twin brother] has just made the Blue Bulls’ Absa Currie Cup side, and he flies to Japan on 24 July, and then my youngest [Matthew] is also heading for Craven Week, so it has all been very hectic,” she said.

Kriel, who is just 21, has made sure his mom will be at Newlands on ­Saturday to see him make his debut in the famous green and gold jersey.

He wasn’t able to tell her about his ­selection before the team were announced, but his actions gave a hint of what was to come, his mom explained.

“He said book a ticket, and I am paying for your ticket now. Very exciting.”

College headmaster Chris Luman, who was also in Cape Town yesterday, said he was hoping to speak to Kriel ahead of the game.

“We are extremely proud of Jesse’s selection and wish him every success and a long and successful Springbok career,” said ­Luman.

While at College, Kriel represented KwaZulu-Natal Schools and was selected for the South African Schools side in 2012.

The following season, he and Dan made the move north to Pretoria to join the Blue Bulls.

That same year he was selected for the South African team who contested the 2013 IRB Junior World Championships in France.

In his first appearance, as a substitute against the United States, he ran in two tries in a massive 97-0 victory for the Baby Boks.

Kriel again played for the national under-20 side at the 2014 IRB Junior World Championships, running out at centre for the team that narrowly went down to ­England in the final.

He will make his first appearance for the Springboks at outside centre on Saturday, despite having spent the Super Rugby competition at fullback for the Vodacom Bulls.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer showed he was not afraid of blooding young talent when he selected Handre Pollard at flyhalf in South Africa’s nail-biting 27-25 victory over New Zealand at Ellis Park.

College will be rooting as Meyer once again dip into the pool of young talent to give Kriel a chance to make his mark

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  jesse kriel  |  springboks

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