Varsity rugby alumni feature prominently among SA Rugby Awards nominees

A number of FNB Varsity Cup and FNB Varsity Shield alumni have been nominated for SA Rugby Awards, following a year when 13 became Rugby World Cup champions.

One of the star performers of the Springboks’ triumph in Japan was Damian de Allende, and the former UCT Ikeys (2012) centre is among the five nominees for the most prestigious Player of the Year award. Also nominated are World Rugby Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit, Cheslin Kolbe, Makazole Mapimpi and Duane Vermeulen.

There are also three alumni for the Young Player of the Year award, namely Curwin Bosch, S’bu Nkosi (both UKZN 2016) and Herschel Jantjies (UWC 2017).

Kurt-Lee Arendse, who was plucked from UWC’s squad last year to play for the Springbok Sevens team, is nominated as one of their Players of the Year.

Kurt-Lee Arendse went from Varsity Cup with UWC to Springbok Sevens Player of the Year nominee in 2019

Meanwhile, there’s a healthy contingent of former Varsity Cup and Shield players nominated in the tournament categories, starting with Handré Pollard (UP-Tuks 2013) for his exploits during the 2019 Super Rugby season.

Tyrone Green (Wits 2018) will be up against Joseph Dweba and Ruan Pienaar for the best player in the 2019 Currie Cup Premier Division; whereas Athenkosi Mayinje (Madibaz 2018) and Robbie Petzer (UFS Young Guns 2017) starred in the Currie Cup First Division last year.

Finally, a varsity rugby graduate is guaranteed to win the SuperSport Rugby Challenge gong because Jamba Ulengo (Shimlas 2010-11), Anthony Volmink (UWC 2011) and George Whitehead (Shimlas 2010-11) have made a clean-sweep of the nominations for the award.