It comes as no surprise that the two dominant rugby schools in the Southern Cape, Hoërskool Outeniqua and Hoër Landbouskool Oakdale, make up 21 of the 22 members of the 2013 SWD Eagles Craven Week squad.
12 members of the Outeniqua 1st XV (Kwaggas) and nine players from the Oakdale 1st XV (Bulle) make up the majority of the squad, while Langenhoven Gim’s Brendon Haas is the sole ‘outsider’ in the squad. Outeniqua are ranked third on the SSN Top 20 rugby rankings, having beaten the likes of Grey College and lost only to Paarl Gim. Their quicksilver backline account for six of the starting places in the Craven Week team, with 2012 SA Schools stars Warrick Gelant and Duhan Van Der Merwe the standouts in a star studded backline.
The forwards are also packing some serious heat with an even split between Oakdale and Outeniqua lads. Kwaggas captain Geor Malan will lead the team from the side of the scrum and is one to look out for in the pack. Also keep an eye out for the powerful ball-carrying number eight, Dian Koen and the gigantic second rower Eduard Zanderberg.
A noteworthy omission from the squad is 2012 Craven Week player and Outeniqua right wing Leighton ‘Soda’ Eksteen. The electric winger dazzled the nation with his twinkle toes last month when he danced his way through arguably the sternest defence in the country, Paarl Gim, to score two tries on live TV! The Kwaggas gas man is no longer eligible for selection however because he is no longer an under 18.
Number of pupils from each school: Hoërskool Outeniqua 12, Hoër Landbouskool Oakdale 9, Langenhoven Gimnasium 1.
SWD Eagles Craven Week XV: 15 Hennie Barnard (Outeniqua), 14 Lorenzo Gordon (Oakdale), 13 Douw Schoeman (Outeniqua), 12 Warrick Gelant (Outeniqua), 11 Duhan Van Der Merwe (Outeniqua), 10 Dewald Human (Outeniqua), 9 Remu Malan (Outeniqua), 8 Dian Koen (Outeniqua), 7 Daniel Maree (Oakdale), 6 Geor Malan (Outeniqua), 5 Eduard Zandberg (Outeniqua), 4 Donovan van den Berg (Oakdale), 3 Stefan Grundlingh (Outeniqua), 2 Marne Botha (Outeniqua), 1 Juandre Dique (Oakdale).
Reserves: 16 Brendon Haas (Langenhoven Gim), 17 Nemo Roelofse (Oakdale), 18 Anton Smit (Outeniqua), 19 Benjamin Janse van Vuuren (Oakdale), 20 Maurice White (Oakdale), 21 Gene Willemse (Oakdale), 22 JP Coetzee (Oakdale).
Coach: Kobus Fielies (Sao Bras Secondary).
Assistant Coaches: Pine Marais (Oakdale) and Jacques Wolfaardt (Outeniqua) .