The FNB Varsity Cup is proud to be regarded as one of the best platforms in South African rugby where young talent is groomed for the pro leagues.
We take a look at the Class of 2022 and a few of the players who have since moved on to bigger and brighter things.
Suleiman Hartzenberg: FNB UCT Ikeys to Stormers
Accolade: Nominated for Overall FNB Player of the Tournament
The story of this quick-footed utility back is impressive - from UCT Ikeys to Junior Springboks to Stormers, all in this space of a year. During last year’s Varsity Cup, the 19-year-old slotted in perfectly with his Ikeys teammates, especially during their victory over Maties in the 500th Varsity Cup match. Joining the Stormers for the 2022-23 United Rugby Championship, Hartzenberg made his debut in Round 1 against Connacht.
Nevaldo Fleurs: FNB Maties to Sharks
Accolade: FNB Back That Rocks in 2022
Fleurs signed a contract with the Sharks last year after an impressive Varsity Cup season. The 23-year-old was the top point scorer with 118 to his name, including six penalties in the Varsity Cup final defeat against Tuks. The fiery fullback first took to the field for his new province against the Pumas in Round 10 of the 2022 Currie Cup Premier Division.
George Lourens: FNB UFS Shimlas to Cheetahs
Accolade: Overall FNB Player That Rocks in 2022
A Toyota Urban Cruiser as the FNB Player That Rocks and a contract with the Free State Rugby Union were big-time payback for Lourens following a stellar 2022 Varsity Cup season. The 24-year-old was integral to the success of the UFS Shimlas last year which saw them top the log for the first time. Lourens started his Varsity Cup journey at Maties before moving to Bloemfontein.
Imad Khan: FNB UCT Ikeys to Stormers
Accolade: Played a pivotal role in securing a semi-final spot for Ikeys in 2022 Varsity Cup
The 19-year-old made his Stormers debut earlier this year in a United Rugby Championship match against the Glasgow Warriors in Scotland. His two tries in the last round-robin match of the 2022 Varsity Cup against CUT ensured a semi-final match-up against Maties. Khan is also a 2022 U20 Six Nations Summer Series winner with the Junior Springboks.
The 16th edition of the FNB Varsity Cup kicks-off on 20 February with the class of 2023 no doubt looking to impress the scouts and take their careers to the next level.