This is a fantastic opportunity for our upcoming Sevens stars to showcase their talent on the international stage
South Africa will be sending two Under-18 teams to the annual Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) in Sydney on 18 and 19 January 2013 - a boys' team and a girls' team.
It’s the first time ever that a South African Under-18 women’s team will play abroad.
Sevens is making its debut at the AYOF after the sport was included in the Olympic Games for 2016.
A total of 30 nations will take part in 17 sporting codes using most of the venues used during the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000.
The boys' side will be coached by former Springbok Sevens captain Neil Powell. The team manager is Marius Schoeman, one of the most experienced Springbok Sevens players ever and currently SARU's manager of the SA Sevens Academy and Elite Player Development.
Three players in the men’s team, Duhan van der Merwe, Matjikinyane Molapo and Warrick Gelant, played for the SA Schools team last year.
Denver Wannies, coach of the senior South African Women’s team, will coach the Under-18 girls. Former SA Women’s captain, Nomsebenzi Tsotsobe, will be travelling with the squad as team manager.
SARU CEO Jurie Roux said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our upcoming Sevens stars to showcase their talent on the international stage and to experience competition at this level.
“These players are still very young, but with the Olympic Games in Brazil more than three years away, it’s not impossible to see some of them feature in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
“Expanding the base of Sevens players in South Africa with an eye on the Olympics is one of the reasons why we decided to send these teams to Australia ,and I have a lot of confidence in the players and the management.”
Both squads will leave for Australia on Sunday, 13 January, following camps in Stellenbosch (boys) and Cape Town (girls) this week. They will return on 21 January.
SA Under-18 Sevens squads
Boys: Lungelo Gosa (Border), EW Viljoen (Free State), Marius Louw (Free State), Matjikinyane Molapo (Limpopo), Willandrè Kotzenberg (Pumas), Warrick Gelant (South Western Districts), Duhan van der Merwe (South Western Districts), Dewald Human (South Western Districts), Gerhardus Labuschagne (Valke), Ryan Oosthuizen (Western Province), TJ Goddard (Western Province), Dennis Cox (Western Province).
Girls: Ntsako Faith Tshauke (Blue Bulls), Micaela Witbooi (Boland), Kirsten Conrad (Boland), Lusanda Dumke (Border), Simamkele Namba (Border), Asisipho Dotwana (Border), Bonakele Sibiya (Golden Lions), Mandy Mhlongo (KwaZulu Natal), Christal Williams (South Western Districts), Atheana Botha (South Western Districts), Kimico Manuel (Western Province), Tatum Daniels (Western Province).
From SARU Corporate Affairs