The Vodacom Bulls under-19 side will be looking for a perfect campaign launch pad when they begin the defence of their SA Rugby under-19 Cup crown this weekend in Cape Town. The competition returns for the first since its pandemic-coerced pause and the Pretoria young side – led by co-captains, Neels Volsckenk and Quewin Nortje – will be making the South-West trip to take on the DHL Western Province under-19 side.
The two sides will go head-to-head on Saturday 30 October 2022 at the Villagers Rugby Club stadium, with kick-off set for 13:00pm.
Head Coach, Edgar Marutlulle says whilst the goal is to defend the crown, there is also a focus on ensuring that there is sustainable player development through to the under-20 setup.
“We are here to compete and to ultimately win the SA Rugby Under-19 Cup, concurrently, we must continue to develop our players and see them graduate into the under-20 ranks because it is very important to continue to build the pipeline and keep the talent conveyor belt working, propelling players into the Vodacom Blue Bulls senior team and ultimately the South African Rugby representative teams,”
Marutlulle’s herd has worked well in preparing for the competition’s opening match, but are expecting a tough battle against a well-coached opposition in the DHL Western Province under-19 side.
“We are fortunate that a significant portion of the group played together in the (successful) under-21 campaign, with 13 players having played in the SA Rugby under-21 Cup final. So, everyone understands and remains connected to a common purpose. Every game we get to play with the daisy on our chests and the Vodacom Bulls jersey is and will always be a big occasion, and this is without doubt also an important occasion for all involved,”
“It is important we start well and on a positive note and the boys have prepared and trained together well this week, now it is time to get going” concludes Marutlulle.
VODACOM BULLS UNDER-19 STARTING XV:
1. Lavagna Corne, 2. Else Juann, 3. Mdanda Mawande, 4. Theunissen Hanno, 5. Beets Corne, 6. Volschenk Neels (c), 7. Van Reenen Ghudian, 8. Ndabambi Abulele, 9. Le Roux Neil, 10. Von Ludwig Compion, 11. Joubert Adrian, 12. Steyn Gert, 13. Dukuswa Munashe, 14. Mene Lutho, 15. Nortje Quewin (c)
VODACOM BULLS UNDER-19 IMPACT SQUAD:
16. Eras Joshua, 17. Maqubela Mbasa, 18. Louw Johan, 19. Kemp Haydn, 20. Mdletshe Gcino, 21. Ngwenya Olwethu, 22. Milborrow Layron, 23. Bredenkamp Franco
VODACOM BULLS UNDER-19 MANAGEMENT:
Edgar Marutlulle – Head Coach; Hayden Groepes – Attack & backline; Wessel Du Plessis – Head of Juniors, Kicking & Breakdown Coach; Prieur Le Grange – Technical Advisor; Hendy Seerane – Team Manager; Tshepo Mashigo – Logistics Manager; Limbi Seyani – Sport Scientist; Tayla Chidrawi – Strength and Conditioning; Dr Gerhard Louwrens – Doctor; Claudette Echard – Physiotherapist; Darryn Berry – Physiotherapist