I respect their decision. These things happen and at the end of the day every province wants to retain their players
Queen's College captain Josh Stander holds no grudges against the Border Rugby Union following his controversial omission from their Craven Week squad earlier this year.
Stander, a blue-chip flyhalf, and halfback partner JP Smith were excluded from the squad after it came to light that the star duo had signed two-year junior contracts with the Bulls.
The Border Rugby Union stated that they would not select any players in their Craven Week side who had committed themselves to other unions and as such, the dynamic duo, who represented their province at Under-13, Under-16 and at last year’s Craven Week, were denied the opportunity to showcase their talents in the 2012 edition of the schoolboy showpiece.
Stander conceded that the Border Rugby Union’s handling of the situation was unfortunate but said as a future professional player, he accepts their decision as part and parcel of the modern game.
“It was obviously a major disappointment but you have to rise above disappointments. You can’t dwell on the negative, you have to look to the future,” he said.
“I respect their decision. These things happen and at the end of the day every province wants to retain their players. I’ve put the past in the past and I can’t wait to join the Bulls. It’s going to be tough but I’m really looking forward to it,” he added.
It’s only fitting that Stander and Smith were both snapped up by the Bulls. As Stander explained: “We’ve known each other from the age of eight years old, so we’ve come a long way and as a combination we know each other inside out.”
Heading into Saturday’s blockbuster FNB Classic Clash against rivals Dale College, Stander said his charges have taken much confidence from their recent form.
“We started the season poorly but we’ve improved as the season has gone on.
“Composure will be key and as captain my message to the guys this week has been to keep a cool head, stay focused and do the basics well. If each guy does his job on the field well we’ll pull through.”