If history is anything to go by then FNB CPUT duo Kieran Naidoo and Wiehan Kruger could have their names added to the countless players who have gone onto higher honours. They come from good stock.
Naidoo and Kruger have been standout performers for the two-time FNB Varsity Shield champions in the opening rounds. It is indeed a testament to a great foundation that has helped them hone their natural skills and talent.
Both are former Western Province Rugby Academy (UXi) players. Three formidable former UXi Academy players include Springbok Kurt-Lee Arendse, livewire Sharks scrumhalf Grant Williams and the recently capped Blitzbok inspiration, Ricardo 'Tricky Ricky' Duarttee.
Arendse was part of the UXi Academy in 2016 before joining FNB UWC. The speedster helped UWC gain a historic promotion to the FNB Varsity Cup in 2019. He would only play one match - against FNB Ikeys - before being selected for the Blitzboks team. Arendse made his debut for the Springboks in 2022. Williams, who has earned one test cap for South Africa, and Duarttee graduated from the UXi Academy in 2015 and 2021 respectively.
Kruger picked up the FNB Player That Rocks award in the first match against FNB UKZN, contributing 15 points with his kicking boot. He has since picked up an injury but coach Alistair Theys is confident the inside centre will make a speedy recovery.
Naidoo has been nothing short of impactful when introduced off the bench. The front rower was instrumental for CPUT in their 36-21 victory over FNB UFH. His work rate off the ball has been a troubling sight for the opposition.
by Lyndon Julius