THORISO PHASHA

The Tuks rugby club has become a great breeding ground for producing many professional South African rugby players. The Tuks rugby club is the largest in South Africa boasting as many 55 teams. Being in existence for over a century, a total of 87 Springboks have emerged from TuksRugby, four of them Springbok captains.

Rugby World Cup winners Victor Matfield, Fourie du Preez and Wynand Olivier are a few rugby players who come from Tuks. This reputation of producing star rugby players has seen many young aspiring rugby players attracted to Tuks.

The LC de Villiers sports grounds serve as the home base for these young athletes. It has state-of-the-art training facilities and a large capacity stadium for the youngsters to display their talent. The pedigree and professionalism of TuksRugby is exceptional and this is evident from the appointment of former Griquas head coach Pote Human. Human took over the coaching reigns of UP Tuks-1 in 2013 and is one of many professional coaches employed to hone the rugby talent at Tuks.

The Tuks rugby club has very strong ties with the Blue Bulls Tuks Rugby Academy and they have worked closely over the years to produce great rugby players. The academy plays a pivotal role in propelling Tuks rugby players into the professional world of rugby. This has seen a strong influx of Tuks players making the quick ascension to international rugby in recent years. Such players include the likes of Springbok centre Jan Serfontein, Arno Botha and Marcel Van de Merwe. The most prominent name in Springbok rugby at the moment is that of 20-year-old fly-half sensation Handré Pollard, who is also a product of TuksRugby. These players have all been capped by the Boks within about a year of each other.

There are a lot of potential Springboks currently playing for Tuks and it is inevitable that another Tuks player will burst onto the international scene soon enough. A player that quickly comes to mind when speaking of Springbok potentials is UP Tuks-1 fullback Warrick Gelant. The 19-year old is a star in the making and he proved this with a strong performance at the 2014 u/20 Rugby World Cup. The Kriel brothers, Daniel and Jesse, are both products of TuksRugby and they are worth keeping an eye on in the future. The pair also participated in the u/20 World Cup and they are both contracted to the Blue Bulls Rugby Union. A Super Rugby breakthrough for these youngsters may culminate in a Springbok debut in the not too distant future.

Image: rugby365.com

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