National lockdown to bring varsity rugby brothers closer?

We’ve taken a look at which FNB Varsity Cup and FNB Varsity Shield siblings might be getting to know each other very well during the Coronavirus-enforced national lockdown (whether they like it or not!).

Our records show that there are almost 20 sets of brothers across the three varsity competitions in 2020. Not all of these siblings are at the same university, so may be spared getting in each other’s way, but most are and will have to find novel ways to stay in shape, keep up with their studies and cope with each other during the 21 days together...


Among the better known 2020 siblings are the Malan twins, Remu and Geor, at FNB Maties. The 24-year-olds came the fore during opening night of the season when scrumhalf Remu scored a try against FNB Shimlas and promptly did a ‘mirror-image’ celebration with Geor, a flank. In preparation for the Coronavirus-enforced lockdown, Remu gave his Instagram followers a glimpse of the gym set-up the pair have at home. No doubt they will also spend time on their law studies – Remu is doing his BCom LLB Honours while Geor is studying towards a Masters in International Trade Law.

They aren’t the only set of twins at the same team. At FNB UJ, you’ll find the Kiewits (21), Cohen and Kayden, who are both studying variations of Transport Management and play on opposite sides of the front row – Kayden is a loosehead prop and Cohen tighthead. 


As previously mentioned, not all 2020 Varsity Cup siblings are studying at the same varsities which adds an extra dimension to the all too usual sibling rivalry. Even more so, if you consider there is a set of twins in enemy camps… Bhekinkosi Qaba is a loosehead prop at Shimlas, while Buhlebenkosi Qaba plays as a blindside flank at UJ – good thing both are studying degrees involving Communication. Neither of the 21-year-old’s teams have had a season to remember, though, but at least theyhave seen game time. Bhekinkosi has been ever-present in the Shimlas’ six games, starting four times, while Buhlebenkosi played as a ‘finisher’ in UJ’s first three games before – unfortunately – missing a reunion with his twin in the dramatic Round 6 clash between their two teams

Other examples of brothers who rely on technology to stay in touch are the Agenbags, Holtzhausens, Van Rhyns, Xamlashes and the Tshongwenis – the only brothers in this year’s Varsity Shield.

READ MORE: How the Xamlashe brothers are making their mark in enemy camps 


The remaining sets of brothers are concentrated at four universities, UWC (the Degenaars and Jafthas), UJ (the Bumas and Aucamps), UCT (Macleod Smiths and Van Edens) and UP-Tuks (the Enslin, Oranjes and Smits) - if you exclude the Van As brothers coaching Wits...

The Smits, Henco (officially Hendrik Jacobus) and Stephan (officially Jacobus Stephanus) differ from the others in that they’re both in the UP-Tuks senior team – rather than one being a Young Gun. Interestingly, younger brother Stephan (21) has been ever-present in the No. 6 jersey but 23-year-old tighthead prop Henco has yet to see any game-time in 2020… surely something Stephan will use as banter in the coming weeks.

Agenbag: Francois at FNB Shimlas and Herman at FNB UJ
Aucamp: Edrich and Wernich at FNB Wits
Buma: Ebot and Ayuk at FNB Wits
Degenaar: Dandré and Delmar at FNB UWC
Enslin: Estian and Franco at FNB UP-Tuks
Holtzhausen: Maarten at FNB NWU and Bani at FNB Shimlas Young Guns
Jaftha: Darren and Mikyle at FNB UWC
Kiewit: Cohen and Kayden at FNB UJ
Malan: Geor and Remu at FNB Maties
McLeod Smith: Jason and Matthew at FNB UCT
Oranje: Raegan and Enrique at FNB UP-Tuks
Qaba: Bhekinkosi at FNB Shimlas and Buhlebenkosi at FNB UJ
Smit: Henco and Stephan at FNB UP-Tuks
Tshongweni: Lukhanyo at FNB Rhodes and Lungelo at FNB Madibaz
Van As: Hugo (head coach) and Ettienne (assistant coach) at FNB Wits
Van Eden: Conor and Reece at FNB UCT Young Guns
Van Rhyn: Marco at FNB Maties Young Guns and Johan at FNB UCT Young Guns
Xamlashe: Sango at FNB UP-Tuks and Sibabalwe at FNB Maties Young Guns
*As per registered players for 2020