South Africa’s traditional north/south rivals will be contesting the Absa Under-21 Championship and Absa Under-19 Championship Finals at The Absa Stadium Durban on Saturday.
In the final of the Absa Under-21 Championship (kick-off at 14h30), Vodacom Western Province, coached by Rassie Erasmus and captained by former SA Under-20 scrumhalf Louis Schreuder, will take on a strong Vodacom Blue Bulls side.
The Pretoria side, headed by the SA U20 assistant coach Nico Serfontein who also masterminded the success of the Vodacom Blue Bulls in the Vodacom Cup earlier this year, is expected to boast numerous players who starred for South Africa at international level.
Flyhalf Francois Brummer represented the Baby Boks during last year’s IRB Junior World Championship in Japan, as did loose-forward CJ Stander, who captained the SA U20s at this year’s tournament in Argentina.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls side could also include Sampie Mastriet and Deon Helberg who both represented the Springbok Sevens during the 2009/2010 IRB Sevens World Series.
Vodacom WP, who ended the Absa Under-21 Championship in first position on the Group A log, could include several players who competed at higher level during the past few seasons.
Loose forward Nick Koster has Super Rugby experience with the Vodacom Stormers, winger JJ Engelbrecht represented WP’s senior side in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division while flanker Yaya Hartzenberg earned his SA colours during last year’s Junior World Championship in Japan.
Meanwhile, the Absa Under-19 Championship final (kick-off at 12h30) will also be contested by the Blue Bulls and Western Province Rugby Unions’ junior sides.
The Vodacom WP side, coached by Nazeem Adams, is set to include numerous players who boast international experience after competing in SARU’s High Performance squads at Under-18 level.
Flyhalf William van Wyk, flanker Nizaam Carr, lock Eben Etzebeth, prop Frans Malherbe, scrumhalf Ricky Schroeder and winger Sizo Maseko previously represented the SA U18s in international games against France in 2009.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls side, coached by Paul Anthony and assisted by Eric Sauls who coached the Baby Boks during their last three campaigns at the IRB Junior World Championships, is likely to be feature the likes of scrumhalf Lohan Jacobs who competed in this year’s IRB Junior World Champs for the Baby Boks, as well as flanker Lean Schwartz and reserve No 9 Rudi van Rooyen, who were previously selected to SARU’s Elite High Performance programmes.
Both games will be broadcast live on SS1.