The Vodacom Blue Bulls have put faith in their recruiting and high performance abilities when they assembled their sevens team that will play in the NBM 7sPL tournament in George this weekend.
The Blue Bulls are amongst the 12 teams that will participate in this inaugural event, to be held on 14 and 15 Dec ember at Outeniqua Park, with a tournament winning prize of R1 million.
The Pretoria side that will travel down to the Garden Route this week includes a host of junior stars and new recruits and could surprise a few teams with more established stars.
Numerous world stars in the game, like Fabian Juries, Ben Gollings, Zar Lawrence and Stefan Basson will be amongst the well-established sevens stars to take the field, but the expected bumper crowd could easily be thrilled by the young Blue Bulls outfit.
According to the Blue Bulls Company’s High Performance Manager, Xander Janse van Rensburg, there was a deliberate decision to use the younger stars in the wider Super Rugby training group.
“The Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke, had a one on one with all these players and made it very clear that this is an early opportunity for them to show what they are made of. We looked at the tournament and decided it will fit perfectly with our High Performance plan, as it will expose these new recruits to top class competition very early on. We will be watching their progress very keenly,” Janse van Rensburg said.
“It is fair to say that they represent the next generation of Blue Bulls players and we are therefor quite excited to see how they shape up. Who knows where a good performance in George could lead them in their Blue Bulls careers.”
The Blue Bulls squad indeed show some awesome youth group potential.
Travis Ismaiel and Shaun Adendorff both played for the Junior Springboks in their capturing of the IRB Junior World Championship earlier this year, with the latter also being named as one of the top three players of the tournament.
Clayton Blommetjies has already represented the Springboks Sevens team in 2012 and will be keen to show national coach Paul Treu that he still has something to offer.
Powerful midfielder Rohan Janse van Rensburg was immense for the Blue Bulls in Craven Week and also proved a star for South Africa Under-18 in their test match series against France, Wales and England, while Daniel and Jesse Kriel has been included in the provisional Under-20 Junior Springboks training group.
Others like Jacques Rossouw was a stand-out for the Vodacom Blue Bulls Under-19 team in 2012 and the team’s top scorer, whilst Cape Town recruit Andrè Warner was a regular with the Tygerberg High School team that won the provincial @lantic Sevens Series for Schools last year.
The team will be coached by former national sevens representative Fielies Coetzee.
The team is: Clayton Blommetjies, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Daniel Kriel, Jesse Kriel, Andre Warner, Jacques Rossouw, Jason Kriel, Christiaan de Bruin, Corne Cooper, Roelof Smit, Jaco Hayward, Travis Ismaiel, Shaun Adendorf. Management: Fielies Coetzee (coach); Werner de Beer (Team Manager); Pieter du Plessis (Medical).