The Sharks and KZNRU are proud to announce that successful Cell C Sharks Under 19 captain Phepsi Buthelezi will be leading the Junior Springboks at the World Rugby U20 Championship in Argentina next month.
Buthelezi, an outstanding rugby player and lead-by-example captain, took his Cell C Sharks Under 19 side through an unbeaten season in last year’s SA Under 19 Championship campaign enroute to the title during an exceptional season where his contribution provided great value for the team’s accomplishments.
The World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Argentina will run from 4-22 June and features a total of 12 Sharks players in the 28 man squad.
Buthelezi boasts Vodacom Super Rugby experience this year, as do fellow Cell C Sharks inclusions Fezokuhle Mbatha (hooker) and JJ van der Mescht (lock).
They are joined by Thaakir Abrahams (utility back), Caleb Dingaan (wing), Celimpilo Gumede (loose forward), Jaden Hendrikse and Sanele Nohamba (scrumhalves), Hanro Jacobs and Thabiso Mdletshe (props), Dylan Richardson (utility forward) and Emile van Heerden (lock) amongst the 16 forwards and 12 backs named to tour.
Buthelezi’s coach at Cell C Sharks Under 19 level last year, Sean Everitt, believes the young man is the right person for the role and will do his country proud.
“It’s a great achievement for Phepsi to be named captain of the SA Under 20 side,” Everitt admits.
“His leadership skills last year were outstanding and he is a player who leads by example. He’s also an intelligent player who is very studious about the game and the opposition and knows what is expected of the team on the field.
“He provides a second coaching role when the game starts and I know he will do a fantastic job. His team-mates will look up to him because he has such a good work ethic. He always prepares well for the game on the weekend and sets a good example for the rest of the team to follow.”
The Junior Springboks are grouped together with Scotland (who they play in their opening match on Tuesday 4 June), Georgia (Saturday 8 June) and New Zealand (Wednesday 12 June).
The semi-finals are scheduled for Monday 17 June with the final played on Saturday 22 June.