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Border U18 star Mahashe appreciates second chance

First selection to SA squad ended in disappointment after tour cancelled due to pandemic

Border’s SA Schools U18 star Sibabalwe Mahashe scores a try against WP XV during the Craven Week at Rondebosch Boys’ High School in Cape Town last week.
DREAMING BIG: Border’s SA Schools U18 star Sibabalwe Mahashe scores a try against WP XV during the Craven Week at Rondebosch Boys’ High School  in Cape Town last week.
Image: GALLO MAGES / ASHLEY VLOTMAN

Border Craven Week loose forward Sibabalwe Mahashe, of Hudson Park High, has described his selection to the SA Schools squad as a stepping stone to furthering his rugby career.

“This will be an opportunity for me to prove myself and showcase my abilities as a player because going forward I would like to play varsity rugby and represent my union’s U20 side and earn a starting position there,” Mahashe said.

“That will be my goal heading into next year and maybe in two or three years’ time hopefully make the Currie Cup side,” he said.

The SA Schools side will take on the SA A Schools team on Saturday at Hamilton Rugby Club in Green Point, Cape Town (12.30pm), in what will be a highly-anticipated affair.

Both sides will be looking to earn bragging rights.

The squads assembled at Hoër Landbouskool Boland, Paarl this week after the conclusion of the SA Rugby U18 Craven Week held at Rondebosch Boys’ High School, Cape Town.

Border had a disappointing Craven Week where they lost two out of the three matches.

The 18-year old Mahashe was the only player to be selected for  the SA Schools starting line-up.

“It has been a dream of mine since grade 8 to play for the SA Schools team.

“Last year, I made the SA U18 squad but hours after I received the news, the tour to Georgia was cancelled [because of the pandemic] before I could even earn my first cap for the side.

“Being selected for the SA Schools again means the world to me because many people doubted I would make it.

“One of the reasons being my diminutive size,” he said.

“They said I was small to be an eight-man and because I had started the season very slowly — I was not at my best — I had to work hard at training and put in extra hours working on the little things that I lacked because people thought the wheels would come off,” he said.

Among other Border representatives who will feature in the match on Saturday are scrumhalf Michael Maseti (Queens), fullback Onelisiwe Fani (Dale) and outside centre Sesethu Mpaka (Queens) who will come off the bench for the SA Schools A side.

Meanwhile, Border assistant coach Lwazi Zangqa (Hudson Park) will repeat that role for the SA A Schools team under head coach Cobus van Dyk (Blue Bulls).

Before the match, a blazer presentation ceremony will be held this week and the squads will attend the third Castle Lager Incoming Series Test between the Springboks and Wales at the Cape Town Stadium.

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