Muzi Manyike will lead the SA Schools from outside centre at Boland Landbou near Paarl when they get their Aon Under-18 International Series underway against Wales on Friday. England face France earlier in the day in the four team series.
Lock Adrian Alberts, named as captain of the SA Schools team for the series, will not be in action due to a slight strain. Hooker Jean-Jacques Kotze was named as Manyike’s back-up for this match.
Manyike, head boy of Jeppe Boys’ High in Johannesburg, represented the Bidvest Walton Golden Lions at the Coca-Cola Under-18 Craven Week held in July and according to SA Schools Head Coach, Sean Erasmus, was named in that position for a particular reason.
“We looked at the squad and where our strengths are and picked particular players in positions where they will help to boosts those good attributes,” said Erasmus.
“We feel that our outside backs and back three hold some attacking threats and would like to use that to our advantage.
“Muzi will play an important role in that regard, not only as captain, but as communicator in that role.
“We want to provide a framework within which the team must play, but we also want the players to express themselves in the process. We had a limited number of days together as a team, so we focussed on the basic structures and fundamentals,” he explained.
“The guys come from different schools and rugby philosophies, so our challenge will be to create a culture within the team and for the players to understand their responsibilities in the team.
“Every player needed to adapt and it will be exciting to see how they adapt. In the bigger scheme of things, we also want to see these players progressing through the ranks to the Junior Springboks and this will be an important first step to gauge them against international opposition.”
According to Erasmus, they are looking to give every player a good run over the three-match campaign. They expect a tough assignment against Wales.
“They have the benefit of regular tournaments and competitions, so will be able to function as a team from the start,” said Erasmus.
“We realise that, so we need to counter that with our strengths, like our speed and skill.”
A 12-man bench is allowed during the Aon U18 International Series.
The SA Schools starting team is:
15. Rynhardt Jonker, Sharks/Glenwood
14. Lwandile Menze, Sharks/Glenwood
13. Muzilikazi Manyike, Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions/Jeppe Boys High (captain)
12. Mnombo Zwelindaba, Build-it Border/Selborne College
11. Stravino Jacobs DHL Western Province/Paarl Gymnasium
10. Juan Mostert, DHL Western Province/Paul Roos Gymnasium
9. Thomas Bursey, Build-it Border/Selborne College
8. Celimpilo Gumede, Sharks/Durban High School
7. Mihlali Mgolodela, DHL Western Province/Rondebosch Boys High
6. Keketso Morabe, Thepa Trading Griffons/Welkom Gimnasium
5. Emile van Heerden, DHL Western Province XV/Paarl Boys High
4. Sibusiso Sangweni, Sharks/Kearsney College
3. Herman Agenbag, Free State/Grey College
2. Jean-Jacques Kotze, DHL Western Province/Paul Roos Gymnasium
1. Dewald Donald, Ultimate Aim Blue Bulls/Affies.
The replacements are (from):
Forwards: Jacques Goosen (hooker), Build-it Border/Selborne College, Thabiso Mdletshe (prop), Sharks/Durban High School, Hanru Jacobs (prop), DHL Western Province/Paul Roos Gymnasium, Lunga Ncube (lock), Sharks/Glenwood, Uzile Tele (flanker), Build-it Border/Hudson Park High, Adrian Alberts (lock), DHL Western Province/Paarl Boys High, Tristan Dullisear (flanker), Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions/Monument, Jarrod Taylor (flanker), Build-it Border/Selborne College, Evan Roos (No 8), DHL Western Province/Paarl Boys High, De Wet Marais (flanker), Free State/Grey College.
Backs: Jurich Claasens (scrumhalf), Ultimate Aim Blue Bulls/Garsfontein; Brendan Venter (centre), DHL Western Province/Paul Roos Gymnasium, Wyclef Vlitoor (winger), Free State/Grey College, Sibabalwe Xamlashe (fullback), Build-it Border/Selborne College, Darren Hendricks (fullback), DHL Western Province/Boland Landbou.
The Aon u18 International Series fixtures are:
Friday, 10 August
England v France
Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron
SA Schools v Wales
Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys
●The DHL Western Province and EP Elephants U19 teams will also be in action in a curtain raiser. Their match in the SA Rugby Under-19 Provincial Championship kicks off at 12h15