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Vote for the Suzuki Rookie of Varsity Shield 2023!

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

UPDATE: VOTING HAS CLOSED - Only votes received up until 12AM on 11 April will count.

With leading automotive brand Suzuki getting into the driving seat as a new sponsor of Varsity Rugby, we have added a new award which will see the best new players being crowned as the Suzuki Rookie of the Year in both the FNB Varsity Cup and FNB Varsity Shield competitions.

As the breeding ground for future talent, the tournament will be recognizing and rewarding the players who made their debut in the Varsity Shield and Varsity Cup this year with this award.

To qualify as a rookie, a player must have made his debut in 2023 and not taken to the field previously in a Varsity Shield or Varsity Cup game. Each week during the round robin stages a player was selected as the Rookie of the Week. The seven selected players at the end of round 7 were then sent to the coaches of all the teams in the Shield competition. The coaches were then asked to nominate the Shield rookie they felt was the most promising player. The three players with the most nominations will be put to a public vote with the one receiving the most votes being declared the winner.

Here are the three players who received the most nominations from the coaches for the Suzuki Rookie of Varsity Shield 2023. Voting is now open to the public.


  • Keaton Olivier (FNB Madibaz)

  • Raniel Andrew Turner (FNB TUT)

  • Hlomla Ncana (FNB UWC)

The public can cast their vote from Thursday, 6 April until midnight on Monday 10 April and the winner will be the player with the most votes at the deadline. The poll only allows you to vote once for one player.

The Suzuki Rookie of Varsity Shield 2023 will receive R3 500 as a prize.

The winner will be announced after the FNB Varsity Shield final on the 13 April.

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