SA Rugby hosted 140 Under-16 and Under-17 players at two high performance training camps in the Western Cape, where they were coached on and off the field about what it takes to advance through the national structures.
A total of 75 players, who had been identified by SA Rugby at Under-15 level and had their progress on the field monitored, attended the U16 camp at Paarl Gymnasium, while 65 players attended the U17 camp at Hoërskool Hugenote in Wellington. Both camps were held last week during the school holidays.
The purpose of the camps were to test the players in four key areas – medical, nutrition, conditioning and skills – and to teach them the key values required to become a professional player.
Other key focus areas at the camps was to educate the players on SA Rugby’s coaching blueprint and the four pillars at the centre of this blueprint – high-tempo rugby, continuity, scoring tries and having fun.
A total of 30 coaches from various schools were also invited to the camps as part of the organisation’s coaching pathway.
“One of the biggest lessons the players took from the camps was that they had to work on their character first and foremost to one day make it at professional level,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
“Some of the core values we focused on off the field were basics such as good manners, because there values are just as important as doing things correctly on the field.
“On the field, meanwhile, the players know that a lot of hard work lies ahead for them advance through SA Rugby’s playing structures, particularly in terms their conditioning and fundamental skills. But that said, I am very positive about the talent on offer at the camps and I believe SA Rugby has a bright future ahead.”