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Players to watch in the 2023 Varsity Cup

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

With the 2023 FNB Varsity Cup getting underway on Monday 20 February we spoke to some of the teams and found out which players we should be keeping an eye on in this year’s competition. Here's our selection for palyers to watch.

FNB Maties: Waqar Solaan

The all-most 24-year-old is a skilful and fleet-footed inside centre who creates space for his teammates on the outside while also being solid on defence and dominating in contact.

Solaan went to school in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) and thereafter played for Eastern Province at the U18 Craven Week. He subsequently signed for Western Province and represented the province at U19 and U21 levels.

School: Greys Boys High School

Position: Centre

Born: 22 February 1999

Weight: 94kg

Height: 1.74m

FNB UP-Tuks: Kyle Cyster

After scoring a hat-trick for Madibaz against CUT last year and helping them to their first Varsity Cup victory in three years, Cyster has made the move north to join the reigning champions for the 2023 tournament.

The utility back represented Eastern Province at U20 and U21 levels and has credited his parents for his stellar performances on the field. This is remarkable for a youngster who only started playing rugby in Grade 8.

School: Hottentots-Holland High

Position: Fullback/wing

Born: 1 August 1999

Weight: 71kg

Height: 1.73m

FNB UFS Shimlas: William Moffat

When prompted for Shimlas players to watch in the 2023 campaign, coach André Tredoux didn’t want to single out individuals, but did make mention of William Moffat.

The burly hooker was a standout in his team’s eight-try victory over CUT during last year’s Varsity Cup, ending a four-year losing streak against their Bloemfontein rivals. He represented Free State at U20 and U21 levels.

School: Framesby High

Position: Hooker

Born: 9 September 2000

Weight: 110kg

Height: 1.87m

FNB CUT Ixias: Ulrich Stander

Stander’s wealth of experience is part of the package and something CUT will properly utilise in what will probably be the last Varsity Cup tournament for the former U18 Craven Week and Free State U20 and U21 player.

This is the word from coach Melusi Mtethwa.

“I am excited to see him expressing himself on the field while he also understands the stage that we will be playing on. He looked good when we played some friendly games, so I'm hopeful that he is going to have a massive one."

School: Welkom Gimnasium

Position: Flank/lock

Born: 14 May 1999

Weight: 1.88m

Height: 107kg

FNB UCT Ikeys: Bryan le Roux

The youngster’s CV makes for impressive reading - U16 Grant Khomo Week, U18 Craven Week, SA Schools and Western Province U20 and U21.

Le Roux has however been hampered by injuries, something UCT coach Tom Dawson-Squibb hopes is now behind the 21-year-old prop.

“I'm hoping and praying that he gets to show the country what he can do this year. He's a special guy with, I believe, a special story ahead of him."

School: RBHS

Position: Prop



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