The SA Schools A team have welcomed Tiaan Pretorius (Paul Roos Gymnasium), Austin “AJ” Johnson (Garsfontein) and Lukanya “Boepa” Vokozela (Rondebosch) in their ranks this weekend. They replaced Quan Horn (promoted to SA Schools) and the injured duo of Jacques-Louis du Toit and Jordan Hendrikse.
Vokozela hails from Khayalitsha and started playing rugby with the Connect Academy. His talents were soon spotted and an invitation to join Rondebosch Boys’ High School followed. He represented DHL Western Province at Under-16 and Under-18 levels.
Pretorius already played for South Africa at youth level, having represented Team South Africa at the World Youth Olympics in Argentina last year where he was one of the stand-outs in the Rugby Sevens squad.
The energetic outside back, who missed the Craven Week due to concussion but will join the SA Rugby Sevens Academy next year, boasts a notable rugby pedigree. His dad, Torros Pretorius, was a regular for the Phakisa Pumas in his playing days and Springbok flank Kwagga Smith is his uncle.
Johnson, a very strong ball carrier and specialist inside centre, hails from Rustenburg, but played for DHL Western Province at Under-16 level after his parents moved to Cape Town. He then relocated to Garsfontein High School in Pretoria, where the hard-running midfielder is a popular and influential team member of the 'Garsie Bere', as the first team is known.
According to SA Schools A coach Phiwe Nomlomo, they are looking at improving in a number of areas.
“The guys learned a lot from Friday and although the turn-around was short, we have a better idea of what to expect,” said Nomlomo.
“Our defence was poor, so Wales will try to keep the ball and test that. They have a good kicking game as well, so we will be tested in that aspect of play as well. I believe we will do well if we go out and apply ourselves.”
The SA Schools A side to play Wales: 15. Jacques Rossouw (DHL Western Province / Paarl Boys High), 14. Sonwabo Sokoyi (Bizhub Free State Cheetahs / Grey College), 13. Tiaan Pretorius (DHL Western Province / Paul Roos Gymnasium), 12. AJ Johnson (Assupol Blue Bulls / Garsfontein), 11. Sibusiso Javu (Border / Selborne College), 10. Sihlalo Benge (Border / Queens College), 9. Kabelo Mokheti (Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions / Jeppe), 8. Jarod Cairns (captain – DHL Western Province / Paul Roos Gymnasium), 7. Izan Esterhuizen (Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions / Monument), 6. Pierich Siebert (DHL Western Province / Paarl Gymnasium), 5. Corne Rahl (South Western Districts / Oakdale), 4. Raynard Roets (Assupol Blue Bulls / Garsfontein), 3. Philip Masango (DHL Western Province / Wynberg), 2. Teague Loelly (Cell C Sharks / Westville), 1. Dima Lebelo (Assupol Blue Bulls / Waterkloof). Replacements: 16. Lukhanyo Vokozela (DHL Western Province / Rondebosch), 17. Rynhardt Rijnsburger (DHL Western Province / Paarl Boys High), 18. Gerhard van der Merwe (Assupol Blue Bulls / Garsfontein), 19. Marco van Rhyn (DHL Western Province / Paarl Gymnasium), 20. Sisonke Vumazonke (Bizhub Free State Cheetahs / Grey College), 21. Daimon O’Connell (Border / Selborne College), 22. Joseph Iye (Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions / KES), 23. Indiphile Tyeda (Border / Dale College), 24. Renzo du Plessis (Unitrans Limpopo Blue Bulls / Ben Vorster), 25. Josh van Vreden (Border / Selborne College), 26. Nsuku Baloyi (Assupol Blue Bulls / Menlo Park).