Uncovering the players who doubled-up on Young Guns and Cup success

FNB Varsity Cup, Young Guns

If you've ever wondered ‘how many players have won the FNB Varsity Young Guns and FNB Varsity Cup title double?’, then you've found the right article...

The fact is that only three teams have won a Young Guns title, namely five-timers FNB UP-Tuks, FNB UFS and current back-to-back champions FNB Maties. So, only players who have won with them at Under-20 level could have doubled up by doing so with their seniors too – and that's been the case for 19 players...

UP-TUKS JUNIORS EARN THEIR STRIPES

After UP-Tuks claimed the inaugural Young Guns title in 2012, six of the winning 23 went on to triumph at Varsity Cup level too. Captain and lock Marvin Orie, centre Christopher Bosch, flank Shaun Adendorff and tighthead prop Christoph Gouws all did so the following year. Andrew Beerwinkel (who won the Under-20 title in 2013 again) and Neethling Fouché had to be more patient. They were reserve props in 2012, but had come of age by 2017 when the Stripe Generation beat Maties in the showpiece final. Interestingly, Fouché went back-to-back by winning with Maties in 2018 – having been lured to the Cape by the Stormers.

Of the UP-Tuks youngsters who claimed a hat-trick of Young Guns titles from 2015-17 (against UFS, UJ and Maties respectively), 2015 halfbacks Theo Maree and Tinus de Beer as well as lock Aston Fortuin (who was the Player That Rocks in the 2015 final) progressed to the senior Class of 2017 who won the Varsity Cup against Maties. Meanwhile, many of their contemporaries fell short when their chance at a double came in last year’s final against – also against Maties…

UFS QUINTET BREAK UP 'NORMAL SERVICE'

UFS Young Guns, who beat UP-Tuks in a dramatic kick-off after extra-time in the 2014 final, didn’t just have once-off success. No, five of André Tredoux’s charges lifted the sought-after Varsity Cup trophy the following year too. That 2015 final has been the highest-scoring final to date, so they truly earned their Shimlas status (because only the first team goes by that moniker). Considering his career progression Ox Nche’s name stands out, but flank Boela Venter, tighthead prop Conraad van Vuuren, Daniel Maartens and Refuoe Rampete also did ‘the double’.

MATIES’ SEIZE THE MOMENT

All the while, Maties’ Under-20s had tried and failed to match what their seniors were doing having lost in the 2012, 2013 and 2017 finals. Christoff Lötter’s charges finally turned the tide in 2018 and have gone on to claim back-to-back titles – as their seniors have done. Five of those first-time winners in 2018 joined the double club last year. Zirk Jansen and Ben-Jason Dixon graduated as lock partners, and the latter has gone on to be chosen as 2020 captain. Hooker Daniel Jooste went from FNB Player That Rocks in the 2018 Young Guns final to starter in the 2019 Varsity Cup final, while flanker Jesse Johnson and 2018 captain Anton du Toit made appearances as ‘finishers’ as the Maroon Machine eased to their record-extending fifth senior title.

Were it not for the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the likes of 2019 Young Guns captain Marcel Theunissen, loosehead prop Dian Bleuler and Luciano Elias (regulars in Drikus Hancke’s dominant 2020 Maties squad) would have expected to make it a double too; but such expectations will have to wait for now…

*players had to have featured in a matchday 23 for FNB Varsity Young Guns and FNB Varsity Cup final-winnng teams