It looks like 3 Glenwood Old Boys, 1 Kearsney College Old Boy and 1 Maritzburg College Old Boy are in with a rare career chance (a one-in-12-year-chance) of facing the British & Irish Lions come 6pm this Saturday at Emirates Airlines Park (aka Ellis Park) in Johannesburg.
Recent Glenwood Old Boys, the first XV flyhalves Jordan Hendrikse (20 years today and back from his stint with the Junior Boks) and utility Fred Zeilinga, are in the 26-player (SA franchise) Lions squad that was named late yesterday afternoon to take on the British & Irish Lions in the tour opener of this renowned touring team’s sojourn to South Africa.
Tracey van den Aardweg feature image: Kearsney College’s Sibu Sangweni in his heyday as captain of the first XV here against Michaelhouse.
Recent Kearsney captain and loose forward Sibusiso Sangweni is also among the Lions squad of 26. And Ruhan Straeuli, son of Lions boss Rudolf, who spent his early high school years at Glenwood before relocating with the family to Gauteng where he finished his schooldays at his dad’s alma mater, Menlo Park.
What a thrill at this relatively early stage in their post-school careers.
And former Maritzburg College centre Dan Kriel, twin brother of Springbok Jesse, is also among the local Lions’ 26 for Saturday at Emirates Airlines Park (aka Ellis Park).
And with Jesse in the Bok mix for the Test series, it adds more Kriel Family colour to the palette.
In November last year, Jesse revealed that his great grandfather, John Hodgson, a loose forward, played for the touring British Lions (as they were then known) in New Zealand and Australia all of 91 years ago.
John Hodgson played for the 1930 British Lions team that beat the All Blacks 6-3 in the Dunedin Test match and in the 15-10 loss to the All Blacks in Auckland.
In all, Dan, Jesse and younger brother Matt Kriel’s maternal great grandad John, a flanker, represented the touring British Lions a total of 15 times and also earned 7 Test match caps for England including against the 1932 Springboks in London.
The Kriel brothers’ mother is Angela, and great grandad John’s Lions cap was sent by English relatives to Angela’s aunt Diana in South Africa during the international travel restrictions late last year.
A wonderful story all-round.
The Johannesburg-based Lions’ 26-man squad is: Pieter Botha, Ruan Dreyer, Jannie du Plessis, Jordan Hendrikse, Francke Horn, Dan Kriel, Jacobus Kriel, Sibahle Maxwane, Nathan McBeth, Reinhard Nothnagel, Burger Odendaal, Marthinus Pelser, Manuel Rass, Carlu Sadie, Sibusiso Sangweni, Ruben Schoeman, Sithembisu Sithole, Dillon Smit, Ruhan Straeuli, Emmanuel Tshituka, Vincent Tshituka, Jamba Ulengo, Morne van den Berg, EW Viljoen, Gerrit Visagie and Fred Zeilinga.
* If there is a KZN10 Old Boy or two that I have somehow overlooked among the 26 players above, please let me know.