Is It Time To Bring The u/23 Gazelle’s Back?


The "Gazelles" was a team of developing players in the Under-23 age group, selected by the South African Rugby Union.

With so much focus on the Rugby Championship and World Cup, these days the player in the current Currie Cup are being overlooked most of the time.

This happens every year BUT the Currie Cup should be identified as a possible advantage to player development in South Africa. SA Rugby should use this opportunity to select a team out of the Currie Cup and perhaps even name them the (Currie Cup Gazelles ). The team selection will serve as stepping stone and motivation to SA U20 and Currie Cup u21 players for 2 to 3 years after entering the senior Currie Cup Competition as most of the selection will be u23 players. The focus will be on younger players that performed at Currie Cup level.

The Gazelles side can then undertake an end of the year tour with the Springboks every year and face up against International "A" sides or even countries like Germany, Romania, Portugal and Georgia. Tour together, live together and play together every week.

What better way will there be to get used to the Springbok culture and player development for South African Rugby. The selection will also give recognition to performing players in the Currie Cup whilst Springboks were playing in International Games like the Rugby Championship and World Cup. Players out of this group could also receive Springbok Call ups should injuries on tour to Springbok players require it. The players will just step up instead of flying in more players.

This might sound like a dream or something impossible to achieve to some rugby supporters in South Africa. It is however not something new and just a call to go back to our Rugby Roots. The need was already identified in 1931. Steps were put in place and rugby within South Africa reaped the rewards of the interventions that followed. It is time to bring back this famous Rugby Badge.

Backs: Tyrone Green (Golden Lions), Darren Adonis (Cheetahs), Aphelele Fassi (Sharks), Madosh Tambwe (Golden Lions), Ederies Arendse (Griquas), Eduan Keyter (Griquas), Stean Pienaar (Golden Lions), Wandisile Simelane (Golden Lions), Bernard Janse van Rensburg (Cheetahs), Jan-Louis la Grange (Golden Lions), Manie Libbok (Blue Bulls), Boeta Chamberlain (Sharks), Zak Burger (Griquas), Sanele Nohamba (Sharks).

Forwards: Hacjivah Dayimani (Golden Lions), Ernst van Rhyn (Western Province), Evan Roos (Sharks), Junior Pokomela (Cheetahs), Pepsi Buthelezi (Sharks), Marnus vd Merwe (Cheetahs), Ruan Nortje (Blue Bulls), Ruben van Heerden (Sharks), Salmaan Moerat (Western Province), Ruben Schoeman (Golden Lions), Carlu Sadie (Western Province), Asenathi Ntlabakanye (Gloden Lions)  , Joseph Dweba (Cheetahs), Johan Grobbelaar (Blue Bulls), Simpiwe Matanzima (Blue Bulls), Kudzwai Dube (Blue Bulls).

Article by: H Otto.