The provisional Free State squad has been selected for the 2019 U18 Craven Week which will be staged at Grey College in Bloemfontein.
It comes as no surprise that the side is once again dominated by Grey boys, who are represented by 17 players from the 25-member squad.
At first glance a person questions the absence of the utility backs from Grey College, JD Odendaal, Franco Knoetze and Marcel l Muller.
They will be touring the USA during the same time as the Craven Week with the Grey Sevens team.
Another notable omission in the squad is that of the versatile lock, Danwich Beukes. The son of the former Free State loose forward and coach, Joe Beukes, is currently nursing a shoulder injury.
There is however some encouraging news on the injury front for the multitalented sportsman. Beukes saw a specialist on Thursday, and the prognosis is that the youngster will not require surgery at this stage. He will have to do some light mobility training as from Friday and he will be in a sling until Sunday. A call on his availability will be made on Tuesday. Beukes can already move his arm through 90 degrees will relatively little pain.
Five players from HTS Louis Botha have been named in the squad, who which just the second-rower, Monwabisi Khani, is in the starting XV. The rest have all been named among the replacements.
The only other player in the run-on side who does not attend Grey is the Hoërskool Jim Fouché loosehead prop, Mamello Mochaliba. Many do feelsthat the number one jersey should belong Jan-Hendrik Wessels, who has been outstanding all season.
It is disappointing that not a single Hoërskool Sentraal player has been named in the squad, especially, seeing that the school has had one of their best seasons in a very long time, and they also beat both HTS and Jim Fouché, as well as Hoërskool Witteberg from Bethlehem.
Adolf Swiegers and Bobby Joubert will coach the team this year, while the usual suspect, Jimmy Jimlongwe, once again serving as the team manager.
The 2019 U18 Craven Week will kick-off on 1 July.
Provisional Free State U18 Craven Week team – 15 Nado Sokoyi (Grey), 14 Katleho Chabanyane (Grey), 13 Ian Small-Smith (Grey), 12 Lesley Botha (Grey), 11 Pascal Ekeji (Grey), 10 FC du Plessis, (Grey), 9 Juan-Dee Olivier (Grey), 8 George Cronjé (Grey), 7 Sisonke Vumazonke, (Grey), 6 Deon le Roux (Grey), 5 Tiaan Jonker (Grey), 4 Monwabisi Khani (HTS ), 3 Tielman Nieuwoudt (Grey), 2 André-Hugo Venter (Grey) 1 Mamello Mochaliba (Jim Fouché).
Replacements – 16 Ricardo Fourie (Grey), 17 Mamelo Letsoalo (HTS), 18 Petrus Naudé (Grey), 19 Giovanni Rayners (Jim Fouché), 20 Brentonio Scheepers (HTS), 21 Elmar Lintnaar (Louis Botha), 22 Kian Fransman (Grey), 23 Oleratho Letsholo (Louis Botha), 24 Jan-Hendrik Wessels (Grey), 25 Nhlanhla Senoamadi (HTS). – MORGAN PIEK