The under-18 Craven Week quota system specifying the minimum number of previously disadvantaged players each team MUST select for their squad of 22 has paved the way for transformed Bloemfontein high school HTS Louis Botha to rise up and become one of the biggest contributors of Craven Week players in South Africa.
They have now produced 41 Craven Week players in the last 6 seasons at an average of just under 7 players per annum. During this time Free State powerhouse Grey College has had 86 representatives (avg=14.33), Sentraal 3, while the last Jim Fouche player to attend Craven Week was Jamba Ulengo back in 2008. For the last 2 Craven Weeks (2012 and 2013), HTS Louis Botha has actually filled the minimum 9 player quota requirement for the Free State under-18 team.
HTS Louis Botha’s best known player at the moment is Free State star wing Raymond Rhule, who played at the 2010 Craven Week. Rhule was not picked for the SA Schools team but 4 HTS Louis Botha players have achieved this highest honour in SA schoolboy rugby. They are Jannie Coetzee (1983), Moekoa Bolofo (2007), KK Hlongwane (2011) and Ox Nche (2012,2013). Ox Nche has shown great potential and the young prop who was recently selected for the SA under-20 training group along with his former schoolmate Victor Maruping, is expected to have a bright future as a professional player in the years to come.
Interestingly the third Louis Botha player named in the SA under-20 training group is 2013 SA Schools hooker Joseph Dweba, who was a student at Florida High School in Johannesburg and represented the Golden Lions at Craven Week last year. Dweba is now the second SA Schools player to have joined HTS Louis Botha as an under-19 player in recent seasons, with Boland’s Leroy Bitterhout making the move from Klein Nederburg in 2011.
For the record old boy and former Springbok AJ Venter is probably still the most successful rugby player that HTS Louis Botha has ever produced.
Article compiled with the assistance of information available on www.schoolofrugby.co.za (link: http://www.schoolofrugby.co.za/free-state/school-profiles/louis-botha)
Free State Craven Week under-18 teams 2008 – 2013
|GREY COLLEGE||GREY COLLEGE||GREY COLLEGE||GREY COLLEGE||GREY COLLEGE||GREY COLLEGE|
|1||Martin Wipplinger||EW Viljoen||Arrie Vosloo||Jan Serfontein||Stephan Kotze||John-Henry Harris|
|2||EW Viljoen||Pieter Jordaan||Dries Swanepoel||William Small-Smith||Baksteen v Heerden||Johannes Swanepoel|
|3||Henry Immelman||Stephan Jv Rensburg||Edward Schmidt||Paul Jordaan||Stephan Pretorius||Stephan Pretorius|
|4||Stephen Rautenbach||Barend Bornman||Francois Pretorius||Ruwellyn Isbell||Carl Wegner||Jean Cook|
|5||Julian Delicado||Edward Schmidt||Gerhard Olivier||Johan Goosen||Jean Cook||Ryno Fourie|
|6||Heinrich Sander||Gareth de Bruin||Henco Greyling||Kevin Luiters||Niell Jordaan||Adriaan Theisinger|
|7||Andries Kriek||Dillon Harlen||Hennie-Schalk Theron||Niel Jordaan||Pieter Rademan||Pieter Rademan|
|8||Casper Fourie||Awie Thompson||Jacques du Toit||Tyron Schultz||Johan Goosen||Franna du Toit|
|9||Ruan Kramer||Ruan Kramer||Jannie Strumpher||Cobus Nel||Chejana Mallane||Francois Venter|
|10||Andrew du Plessis||Corniel Els||Jan Serfontein||Gerhard Olivier||Piet Lindeque||Piet Lindeque|
|11||Ruben Terblanche||Andrew du Plessis||Leneve Damons||Neethling Fouché||Riaan Britz||Christoffer Boucher|
|12||De Wet Bezuidenhout||Neethling Fouché||Anrich Bitzi||van Zyl Botha||Riaan Britz|
|13||Marius Louw||Pieter Jordaan||Rudi Fuls||Egbert Ras||Baksteen v Heerden|
|14||Rudolph Botha||Armand Stoman||Frederick Ras||Stephan Kotze|
|15||Ruwellyn Isbell||Rudolph Botha||Sethu Tom|
|16||Wihan Lombaard||Leneve Damons|
|LOUIS BOTHA||LOUIS BOTHA||LOUIS BOTHA||LOUIS BOTHA||LOUIS BOTHA||LOUIS BOTHA|
|1||Aliqhayiya Mgijima||Olwethu Ndakisa||DK Mukendi||Raymond Rhule||Nkululeko Mthethwa||Tumelo Moholo|
|2||Sheldon Fortuin||Chelton Fortuin||KK Hlongwane||Heinrich Douglas||Oscar Limani||Oscar Limani|
|3||Refuoe Rampeta||Refiloe Rampeta||Kwemi Moremi||Tuso Chalatsi||Mzuvukile Duma||Teboho Mohoje|
|4||Victor Maruping||Ox Nche||Thuso Chalatsi||KK Hlongwane||Siyasanga Mkunku||Nkululeko Mthethwa|
|5||Ox Nche||Othello Sebotsha||Vincent Maruping||Dillon Douglas||Lerato Ramahlape||Mzuvukile Duma|
|6||Whaseem Gallant||Byron Matthews||Heinrich Douglas||Thuso Mokgwetsi|
|7||Sharwin Cupido||Luke Cyster||Tsholofelo Mojanaga|
|8||Masego Toolo||Gomolemo Minnie|
|9||Patrick Mbangi||Stanley Ramoetsana|
|1||Juandré vd Berg||Brian Malakeane||Jamba Ulengo|